As a local church minister, I have attended numerous funerals of both old and young. At most funerals, a time is given during the service for friends and family members to share memories. As I reflect on the memories shared over the years, there's always a common thread I hear at each funeral: The impact a person had on another person was due to spending time with them.
Rarely have I ever heard memories like, "John worked 60 hours a week in the summer of 2010 and that really impacted my life." Or "Jane's company growth strategy with a completed Powerpoint Presentation really impacted the way I live my life." However, I most often hear, "The time my father took me camping really impacted my life." Or, "Jane's love for the Sunday School class she taught really made a difference in so many lives."
I understand office hours are important and unplanned meetings occur. Planning and strategizing play an important part in the success of a company or local church. But when our work begins to define who we are as leaders, we should take a step back and reevaluate who we are as leaders and what is most important.
As we press forward in 2018, here are three areas that can help define your leadership in 2018 and practical tips you can use to make sure they happen:
- Your Leadership with your Family - Are you making plans to spend time with your family in 2018? When planning your weekly schedule, write in time with your family and make sure that time is uninterrupted. And don't forget to put away your smartphone when you are with your family so that you are completely present with your family.
- Your Leadership at your Church - In order to lead well at your church, whether paid staff or volunteer role, seeking God daily is vital. At the beginning of the week, plan your daily devotion time on your calendar. Spending time in prayer and Scripture reading directs your attention toward the True Leader and allows you to seek His direction for your leadership role in the church you serve.
- Your Leadership Multiplication - Schedule time away from your office to meet with someone weekly. Then ask God to direct someone in your path you can meet with. Simply sharing with someone what you have been reading in your personal quiet time can be a step toward leadership multiplication.
Often we allow our work to define who we are as leaders. While office work, strategy, planning and busy seasons still require our very best efforts, may it not be a defining aspect of our leadership in 2018. May our focus be as Paul said in Philippians 2:4, "Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
Drake Caudill serves in the local church as a minister and is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes about Leadership in Ministry at www.drakecaudill.com