Have you ever found yourself in a place spiritually, physically or mentally that you just didn’t want to lead anymore? You became so drained and so burned out that you just didn’t care anymore. You thought why not just quit? As a Leader I can only imagine that we all have felt that way at some point. How do you lead when you don’t want to. Just because your a leader doesn’t mean that you never feel like throwing in the towel. I think sometimes that people view those that Lead as invincible. And sometimes as Leaders we may view ourselves that way but as history has shown us no one is invincible, so we must learn to take the proper steps TO prevent burn out.
King David in 1 Samuel 30 was a prime example of a Leader who not only wanted to give up but had those around him ready to stone him to death. Now for the most part we may have had people upset with us and wanted to quit but most us have never had people wanting to stone us as Leaders. David had just lost his family along with those around him. He was hurting, and so were those around him, and probably didn’t have a burning desire to Lead. But he learned to encourage himself in the Lord. One of the main things that we have to do is encourage ourselves in the Lord. We find our strength in Him. As a pastors child my sister and I were often illustrations for the sermons my dad preached. I remember one illustration of when I was a really young child. My parents had always rocked me to sleep but decided one night to let me cry myself to sleep. After a while it had gotten quiet and my parents became concerned and decided to check on me. When they walked in they found that I had climbed over the side of my crib and was hanging on with one hand while patting myself on the shoulder with the other hand, sniffling telling myself it’ll be alright. Some times we have to encourage ourselves and lead in the face of adversity. David Learned to do that and inquired of the Lord how to proceed. I had a friend that posted this a few days ago “If you live off man’s compliments, then you will die by his criticism.” My interpretation was If we allow man’s compliments to lift us, then their criticism will tear us down. We must know how to encourage ourselves in the face adversity.
Leaders must also be able to take a 50,000 foot view. So often we get to a place where we don’t want to lead anymore because we are so consumed in the here and now that we can’t see the bigger picture. We get stuck on the ground floor and do good to see short distances much less see the whole picture. When you don’t feel like leading step back and take a look from a higher place to put everything into perspective and you will find it easier to Lead in a hard situation. I had a lady that use to tell me “it won’t always be this way.” That has been something that has ministered to me numerous times and I have used to minister to others. This statement was an encouragement when I was at a place where I didn’t want to continue.
Finally, when you find yourself in a place of burn out and not wanting to lead you need to rest. I have thought in the past that the more I did the more spiritual I was but as I have grown older I have found that to be inaccurate. As a leader we have to learn how to rest. Jesus found time to rest. So why wouldn’t we value rest also. I have had people of significance in my life tell me that sometimes rest is one of the most spiritual things I could do. In order to lead even when we don’t want to we must learn to rest because we can’t give to others and push through hard times when our bodies aren’t at 100%.
These are just a few things that are helpful to remember when we are at a place in our lives where we don’t want to lead. Be encouraged in the Lord and learn to encourage ourselves. Keep perspective of where we are and where we are heading. Lastly, get some rest because you are no good to yourself or anyone else when you are worn out. What do you do when you find yourself not wanting to lead? How do you cope?