Enjoy the Role of Leadership
by Bob Burroughs
August 2, 2010
Quality is not an act. It is a habit. (Aristotle)
Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism.
(Proverbs 18:8, The Message Bible)
Father of All Things, Protector and Guardian of the Universe, and Lover of my individual soul, I praise You this day for all those men and women in ministry who seek to love You first and foremost with their whole heart—who make a habit—or who make a habitual encounter with You everyday—and who long to be in Your presence! I pray You would have us search our personal and private habits and help us see that perhaps some may need to be dismissed in favor of habits that are more pleasing to the task to which You have called us. Grant us mercy always, for we are a sick and sinful people who cannot survive without Your watch care over us on a daily basis. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, who gives us our song of salvation. Amen.
What Think Ye?
Everyone has them. Everyone is familiar with them. Habits can make us stronger—more disciplined and worthy of the task to which we have been called—or habits can weaken our character, harm our influence and cause a poor reflection on God’s Kingdom that lives within each of us.
I have a daily habit I really enjoy. I rise around 7:00 AM, pick up the papers Esther has gotten for me, pour a good cup of strong coffee and a prepare a muffin; then I sit in my chair to read the local news and USAToday. After that, I read a chapter or two of scripture and pray for my family and God’s Kingdom. It is a good habit. It gets me off on the right foot.
When I was in the local church—and later, when I was teaching University level Freshmen Music Theory, I had to work hard not to develop habits that would make my life much easier and not cause me to work quite so hard. These would be things such as using the same worship template week-after-week and simply filling in the blanks for the coming worship experience—or to rely on last year’s assignments and tests for my frightened freshmen. It would have been so easy to do either of these. But something in the back of my head would always pierce my being and remind me that creativity, new energy, and working a bit harder to please the Father—as well as my Pastor and later, my Dean, should be foremost in my planning.
You and I know people who “shortcut” worship planning and have gotten into the habit of shortchanging the people of God--by not spending time planning creative and innovative worship experiences--and working through the maze.
You and I also know men and women who agonize weekly over the worship service planning—insuring that a fresh worship experience will take place each Sunday and help the people come before God’s throne and experience true worship.
There are some very fine church music habits that are good ones and should used effectively. Among these are ten quality habits:
1. Always beginning rehearsals on time—and quitting on time.
2. Always beginning the worship experience on time and leaving it open-ended for the Spirit of God to work among His people.
3. Never sing with the choir! They don’t need you and probably wish you wouldn’t do it!
4. Doing everything yourself in an attempt to become the Super Minister of Music or Worship Leader—thinking that the more you do, the more your people will appreciate you. Sorry! It doesn’t work that way.
5. Being willing to go “out of your way—on your way" to be an effective Minister to your people.
6. Spending quality and quantity time with your family—giving them some of your best times.
7. Always challenging your people to stretch themselves to be better than they are, and complimenting them often in the process.
8. Being able to laugh at yourself and not be uptight over the little things in rehearsals, with staff, or in worship. Unprepared funny things do happen. Relax and enjoy the moment.
9. Giving credit where credit is due—always taking the last bow and the first, and showering praise and affection upon those who do so much in your ministry program. You can appreciate people too much.
10. Spending quality time in the presence of the One who called you into your ministry, gaining instruction and lessons for the coming days.
Habits. We all have them. Make sure to keep the good ones and dismiss the not-so-good ones!
What think ye
Enjoying the Role of Leadership
Are you enjoying your leadership role? I mean, are you having fun at what you're doing and enjoying almost every minute?
As a ministry leader, are those to whom you sing, conduct, teach or preach convinced that the News is really Good? If we don't convey joy, and yes, convey fun over what we're doing, we cannot be an authentic witness for Jesus Christ.
The great theologian, Karl Barth, had a radiant cheerfulness, a broad smile, and showed exuberance over his ministry. A friend said his of him: "He refused to take himself too seriously, but took God very, very seriously." What a great compliment.
Once, Barth was on a bus in Basel, the Swiss city where he lived and taught for many years. A man sat down beside him, and obviously, was a tourist. Barth struck up a conversation, by asking a question: "You are a visitor, yes? And what do you like to see in our city?"
The man replied: "I would like to see the great theologian, Karl Barth. Do you know him?"
"Oh, yes," said Barth. "I shave him every morning."
The man was obviously thrilled! He left the bus satisfied, telling his friends that he had met Barth's barber!
If ministry leaders lose the "fun" dimension of their work, something is wrong--drastically wrong! Those we are around in our ministries should catch our joyful attitudes.
This Idea Will Work
Finding Ways to Cope in God's Created World
- Balance Your Life. Life is not meant to be all of everything—but a balance of many elements. At the end of the month, do a quick check to see if one area of your life is out-of-balance and if something seems off. Then, correct it.
- Relax. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Practice being calm. Take a break. Take sufficient time away. Engage in some leisure activity. Take deep breaths often. Read scripture—Psalms/Proverbs are excellent.
Laugh & Play. Laughter promotes endorphins. A sense of humor is a gift. Smile. Take time every day to recreate and do something you enjoy. Pursue a hobby. Learn to play. Take care of your “childlike nature.”
- Get Enough Sleep. Relax before going to bed. Go to bed and wake up about the same time everyday. If you wake up worrying about something, jot it down and tell yourself to think about it in the morning!
- Monitor the Pace of Your Life. Exercise reasonable control over the access that people have to you. Limit that access so as to pace your stressors. Remember: the better you are at what you do, the more people will want from you. And also remember: "NO" is a complete sentence!
- Get Outdoors and regain perspective on life. Enjoy the sun, wind, rain, snow, and God’s natural beauty—it IS everywhere. Remember: ”This is my Father’s World and to my listening ears, all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres!”
- Create Stability and Buffer Zones. Develop and consistently practice habits and rituals that are stable and secure. Create small buffer zones between some of your obligations. Even 10 minutes allows you time to catch a breath...close your eyes...pray...call your spouse...or defuse your own tension.
- Be Spontaneous. Plan for some free time. Christ’s lifestyle was responsive to the present and often spontaneous. Shouldn’t that be signal to us?
Taken from the book:
This Idea Will Work--136 Ways to Revitalize Your Music Ministry
Lorenz #30/1794L / $12.50
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