Grow Up And Lead Yourself

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading


Grow Up and Lead Yourself.

By Lori Wilhite

We were young— just kids, really. We were navigating our first years of ministry. Working full time, six days a week. Evening events at the church five nights a week. We were non-stop. Go. Go. Go. And we loved it, we really did. But we were also tired, worn out, and a little worn down.

We were just getting started but worried how long we could keep up the current pace, given all of the other challenges we faced. We had been criticized and hurt. We felt discouraged and overworked. We were weary, lonely, and bone-dry spiritually.

There was one easy and convenient place to lay the blame. Our work. Our ministry. The church.

That is, until one life-changing lunch.

Dining on pasta and good conversation, my husband sat with a seasoned pastor. Starving for wisdom that can only come from years of experience, he asked every ministry and leadership question that came to mind. He soaked up every lesson and then asked, “How do you keep going when you feel pulled in a million directions and paper thin? How can you keep pushing on?”

That pastor paused, set his fork down, took a deep breath and said, “Grow up and lead yourself.” Then he quietly resumed eating his noodles.

Whoa. Wait just a second.

Was it possible that our problem wasn’t the church, but, instead, we needed to learn to lead ourselves? That was a game changer.

We then embarked on a journey to learn to lead ourselves. So many of our struggles weren’t the church’s fault; they were our fault. We weren’t leading ourselves well.

Feeling hurt? We needed to protect ourselves.

Drowning in discouragement? It was time to encourage ourselves.

Overworked? We had to grab hold of our calendars and manage ourselves.

Starving spiritually? We needed to pick up our forks and feed ourselves spiritually.

Weak and weary? Time to flex our muscles and strengthen ourselves.

Lonely? Being intentional and proactive were the keys to including ourselves.

Yep. It was time to grow up and lead ourselves.

Sure, leadership has it challenges. Some really tough things happen to us sometimes that just flat-out aren’t our fault. But there are also many things we can do to better lead ourselves so we can enjoy the wonderful adventure of ministry. Over the next few days, we hope you’ll take the beginning steps in learning to lead yourself well.