Setting priorities as a Christian leader is one of our most challenging and difficult tasks. If we get it right, fruitfulness and joy follow. If we get it wrong, feelings of failure and misery follow. In present-day church culture success is mostly measured by numbers: attendance, giving, conversions, baptisms, small groups, new church plants, people serving, etc.
In the process, however, we can miss other key goals that, while they may be more difficult to measure, are also biblical and important.
The MOST frequently overlooked priority and goal of our leadership is ourselves! The greatest gift of leadership we give those around us is our continued diligence to be a disciple and to follow Jesus wherever, and however, He wants to lead us. Every year I ask: “Where is Jesus inviting me to grow this year and in what areas of my life? And how would He have me do that?” Time is then carved out to make this a reality.
We need to be sure to take care of ourselves if we’re to effectively lead others. Examples of what this has looked like for me over the past twenty-three years include what are my own emphases for study, readings, mentoring, spiritual disciplines, marriage and family, etc.).
We must “do the work before the work” of leading others. In other words, we must ensure that we possess a sufficient inner journey so that our outer journey of work flows from a deep center with Jesus.