At some point every Christian leader will end up being called upon to lead some kind of project. They may be short and quick or they might be large and challenging. Many Christian leaders have no training or experience of running a project and that in itself can be an enormous stress factor. Whilst natural organisational ability is enormously helpful, in itself it is no guarantee of any project being both successful and low stress. This Article provide budding project managers with a practical guide
As a Christian Leader may be you feel overwhelmed by the stresses and demands you and others place on your use of time? Time Management skills are vital to your effectiveness and the role model that you are as a servant leader.
This series on stress has been focusing on organisational stress and we have looked at the role that the Christian servant leader has to play by adopting strategies that help reduce stress for the people in his team or organisation. So far we have not considered what you can do if, through reading these articles, you identify high levels of occupational stress in yourself. Colin Buckland shared some more tips with me.
If you are in the ministry or on the mission field you may find our series on ministry stress helpful as well.
As we have seen in the first three articles, stress frequently arises because of the demands that are being placed on staff without a reasonable consideration of their capacity and capability and it is exacerbated when they feel they have no control over their situation. They feel that they are simply Cog-ware, parts of a machine that demands performance but has little care for their well being. The result is stress and with that declining performance.
There is a phrase that always amuses me. It’s “the elephant in the room”. We all know that it means that there is some big issue that is not being addressed. Well, organisational stress is most times a silent elephant in the corner of the room. It needs to be dealt with but no one will, and people who are …
Stress is part of life and to some extent stress, or at least benign stress (let’s call it pressure), helps to motivate us to perform well. To that extent it can be considered positive. With too little pressure performance is sub-optimum. Witness the difficulties and boredom generated by too little work as well as insubstantial work that you can’t “get your teeth into”. The problem is that as the pressure increases performance peaks and then declines as the pressure turns to high level stress.
“The truth is we should minimize negative stress in the workplace if we want to maximize productivity. If you really want to get the best with your people, from your people, then actually minimizing work-related or occupational stress is really something worth looking at.” Colin Buckland
If stress allowed us to die, perhaps a little sooner but feeling comfortable that we, as a Christian leader had achieved our full potential for God and made a Kingdom difference, then we might think the trade worthwhile. Unfortunately it is seldom so clean and tidy, and perhaps even less so when, well before any part of our bodies give up, burnout’s devastating consequences wreak havoc in the church.
The life of a Christian leader, especially a church minister, is surrounded by more than enough stressors for any ten others. What is more, they are often unobserved by them, their loved ones and their church board, waiting to strike. This may seem over dramatic but it is oh so real to oh so many.
The aim of this short series is to enable Christian leaders and those around them to be alerted to the risks and consequences of ministry stress and the devastation of burnout that so often follows.
Character and integrity are the great safeguards and health-giving boundaries to the use of power and authority as Christian leaders in the church. Christ likeness is maturity, bringing an inner security that acknowledges that we cannot reach any higher than ‘sonship’. Acceptance of ourselves with all our strengths and weaknesses, in the knowledge that we are his, and through Christ made acceptable to him, is a route to deep security and peace from which may spring true altruistic leadership and use of power.