This could be the most difficult part of this series to write because this part impacts who I am. Last summer I was asked to come up with a plan that would help me stay connected to God on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. That plan has been a good anchor in my life, keeping me close to Christ (Proverbs 16:3). This is an example of what a plan for personal health and growth in the pastor/leader could look like for you.
1. Constant Connection with Christ
This area will reflect the intimacy portion we all know about being a Christian. I really see this section of my personal health being a constant need to follow my Plan of Life that I’ve already taken the time to detail out. This area of my life needs to be intentional; with my personality being the way it is I am prone to run into difficulty with my relationship with Christ and need that constant connection.
2. Living Openness in Accountability
I currently have two accountability partners that I meet with on a weekly basis. Travis is an adult leader in our high school ministry and my right hand man in this ministry. Taun is a great friend and a father who helps me be a better dad to my girls. I connected with Taun about four years ago and Travis about three years ago. Our accountability group has met for the last two years to: confess sin, share struggles, pray for each other’s family, and encourage each other (Hebrews 10:25). The more we meet and grow in our friendship the more I am thankful for the relationship we have.
3. Making Marriage/Family a Priority
I have repeatedly said that I do not want to be a pastor who leads people to Christ but has a family that hates me. My family priority will be maintaining the boundaries that protect them: family night, date night, taking vacation, turning off my phone on certain nights, and leaving the computer at the office to make sure work does not distract me from spending the time with my family that they need.
4. Understanding My Leadership Profile
After combining my Strengths Finder and Spiritual Gifts testing and combining them with my Myers-Briggs results, I know that I have a personality that is prone to being a Lone Ranger. I want to be effective as a pastoral leader, so I use my calendar as a tool to help maintain balance in my life by intentionally allotting time for reflection on the person I’m becoming and to ensure that I’m living my life in line with scripture.
5. Maintaining a Leadership Posture
My old pastor, Miles McPherson, once said: “If you think you’re a leader and no one is following you, then you are just going on a walk.” I want to keep my leadership skills sharp, being purposeful in my relationship and careful about what I say “yes” to. I believe that my leadership posture will flow out of a healthy relationship with Christ, good accountability, and making marriage/family a priority. This will require me to make healthy choices and model those to others to show what is important in my life.
I want to encourage you to take the time to think through some similar areas in your life, where you can see growth needs to take place and special attention needs to be placed, for you to maintain personal and health in growth in life. The reality is that you are a person before anything else in life and God has called you to be a person who loves him, but that will require you to stay focused and connected to him on a regular basis. This plan works for me; what will work for you?