When I was a moldable middle school student, I highly looked up to the high school students. I was excited the Sunday morning they invited me into the church kitchen to “show me something.” It was there they pulled out a clear-like liquid that was foreign to me. They poured a small cup and told me to drink it. The smell invited me to do otherwise. Once I saw one of them drink some without making a face I had to keep my “cool” factor alive. I found out a few minutes later to the laughter of these 2 guys I had taken in some fermented white grape juice. Whoever thought my first exposure to alcohol would be in my church kitchen.
As a Lead Pastor now, I have found that many church fridges are somewhat the same. Here’s my take on how your church fridge may reflect your leadership
If It’s Expired, It May Be Time to Move On
Sometime we can hold on to our preferences too long at the detriment to yourself and those you lead. The culture of where live now is very different from where I came from. Some things can carry over and some things just can’t.
Whether you are new or have been in your context for a long time, as leaders we have the responsibility of constantly looking in and around us to see what may be changing both within our church contexts and outside of it. We must have a willingness to constantly learn and in that discover new ways we can be the best stewards of where we called. After all, do you need those 7 coffee flavorings that expired 8 months ago still?
Be Hopeful, but Realistic
The 714 bottles of dressing that are in there could eventually be used, but more than likely you’ll just forget of them and buy new ones instead to add the old collection.
It can be easy to look at what is happening and want to get after it and go for it. Often people’s expectations are faster than your capabilities. Don’t seek to live into everyone’s expectations or you’ll find yourself spinning more plates than you can handle. It’s okay to be hopeful of the place you have been called to lead, but pacing yourself is crucial.
Sacrificing your family and impressing people with all you can do isn’t success. If everyone loves what you do and you’ve lost relationship with those under your roof, it’s time to realign your realities and get back to a healthier pace.
Make Space for Sabbath
When a fridge gets too full, we will realign things to make sure it all fits in there. That lack of space will prevent you from experiencing rest. It will consume and overwhelm you.
As leaders we have to model this. The culture we find ourselves in invites you to a little bit more, to shift things around to make it fit, and to always be on the go. We fail to hear from God when the busyness of our lives prevents us from listening.
The Holy Spirit is speaking, but are you just hearing without listening? It can be scary to be left alone in your thoughts and make space for quiet and allow God to enter in. Without it, we’re leaving ourselves in positions to cram one more thing in and dismiss our necessity for rest.
Without the discipline of rest, your leadership is tainted. That extra appointment can wait. That ding in your pocket that gives you a dopamine hit that excites you because you’re wanted is addictive. But can it wait?
My hope and prayer whether you are helping to lead your home, church, place of work, volunteer event, children, etc., you’ll discover the refreshing reality that comes with remembering you are a human being not a human doing.
May the Spirit of God speak clearly to you as you make space for Him.
You are loved.