Leadership Uncategorized

Avoiding the Dead Sea: 2 Encouragements for Empty, Stagnant Leaders

Why is the Dead Sea dead?

The Dead Sea is an absolutely beautiful body of water. Sitting, sunken in the middle of a desert wilderness, the Dead Sea is called dead because its high level of salinity makes it impossible for life to flourish in its waters.

The high level of salinity in its water is caused by two fundamental issues:

Nothing goes in. Nothing goes out.

It is a stagnant body of water that is also susceptible to drying up during the months when the Jordan River provides very little and infrequent inflow.

I have been around many “Dea Sea” leaders. I have also been one myself. How do we get to this “dead” place spiritually as leaders?

Nothing goes in and nothing goes out. How do we maintain spiritual vitality when so much of leadership exhaust our finite energy levels, spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally etc? How we avoid “Dead Sea Leadership”?

Let me offer two encouragements for leaders who are weary.

  1. Inflow: Drink in the Gospel

I start here because of many leaders, including myself, struggle with finding time to be poured into. Leaders tend to have a false sense of their own strength and even good leaders lack the discipline to step away from the crowds and busyness to drink in the Gospel. Practically speaking fill your tank with increased Scripture reading, dedicated time alone with God in prayer, stay connected to Gospel community in your local church, lunch with a fellow leader, old friend or mentor, attend a good conference etc. Be as intentional about your own development as you are about the development of others.

“If you do not come apart you will come apart”. – Spurgeon

2. Outflow: Pour Out the Gospel 

While some leaders are drying up, others are growing stagnant. The “outflow” issue here happens when we confuse busyness with fruitfulness.

It is entirely possible to “lead” a team of people you are not investing in.

If your interactions with those you lead are 50% giving tasks, 25% reminding them of those tasks and 25% criticizing them for not completing the tasks then there is an “outflow” problem. Ask yourself these questions: Where is this team member currently at in their life? What can I do to encourage them with the Gospel in this unique season of life? In order to lead “while pouring out”, we must be willing to be interrupted from time to time. Be willing to stop and have a conversation with those you lead. Ask them how they are doing and how you can pray for them or serve them this week.

As a leader, we must leverage our influence in the lives of others for their good and the glory of God. Spend 10 minutes at the start of your week making a list of 5 people on your team and commit to encouraging all 5 people by the end of the week.

Leadership is hard. It requires an inflow of Gospel and outflow of Gospel.

So stop.

Drink in the Gospel.

Pour it out.

Repeat.

 

Chad Williams

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