Interview: Leadership Expert Deborah Ike on Leading Healthy Small Groups

I recently met Deborah Ike, who works with church leaders to help them grow their churches and create a life with healthy margins. She is the author of two books, Volunteer Management Toolkit-Church Edition and Protect the Vision: A Practical Guide to Church Risk Management, both available on her website: Velocity Ministry Management. After reading this interview, go check out her site and ministry for church leaders.

Here’s our interview:

Michael Mack: I became familiar with and interested in your ministry through a tweet in which you mentioned burnout, which is also a favorite topic of mine. How did you first get interested in that topic?

Deborah Ike: I became interested in the issue from my own experience burning out and in talking with others who’ve had similar experiences. It breaks my heart to see people with incredible vision and love for Christ who lose their passion for ministry because they’ve been trying to do too much, too fast. After all, we are still human and have physical limitations. We need rest, sleep, and even play. Our culture focuses on quick results and we can get sucked into that mindset. Instead, we need to focus on staying in ministry for the long haul. That won’t happen if we burn ourselves out. I’ve learned many lessons the hard way and now help church leaders focus on what matters most so they can grow their church and lead a healthy life with more margin.

Michael: You write a lot about recruiting volunteers. What three best practices would you provide to small group ministry leaders about finding and asking people to lead a group?

Deborah: #1 – Clarify expectations about the role.

If you invite someone to lead a small group but only provide vague information about what that role looks like and what you expect a small group leader to do, you’ll have a tough time getting anyone to say yes. A potential small group leader needs to know what he/she is signing up to do. They’ll want to know things like, How often should we meet? Do you provide a study guide or any outlines for what to discuss at our meetings? How would people join the group? Where do we meet? What resources are available if a member of the group has a question or issue we don’t know how to address?

#2 – Look for people already leading.

You have leaders in your church—you may need to look a bit more closely. Who holds a leadership role at work? Who has served at various church events and did a great job? Ask around and listen for what names come up most often. Those are the people you should start talking to about leading a group.

#3 – Provide support.

When you talk with someone about leading a small group, make sure he/she knows you’ll be available to answer questions and/or provide direction as needed.

Michael: A healthy small group is a team that works together to carry out the mission God gave them. You write and speak on the topic of teamwork. What are a couple teamwork principles that small groups could use to grow in this area?

Deborah: Communication is key in any group setting. This includes learning the personalities and communication preferences of each team member. When we focus on communicating with each individual in a way he/she is best able to receive, we avoid potential conflict from misunderstandings and have more productive conversations overall.

Also, don’t be serious all the time. Yes, it’s great to have deep discussions about faith. However, it’s also really helpful to just have fun together, too. Make ice cream sundaes, go bowling, play a board game, etc. Those moments break the ice, help you see another aspect of each other’s personality, and will help your group grow closer together. People are more willing to engage in challenging topics when they trust and know the rest of the group. Having fun together is a great way to start building that trust.

Michael: What’s your favorite thing to do to unwind (and avoid burnout)?

Deborah: I’ve found exercise to be a great way to reduce stress. In fact, I have my best workouts after a challenging day! A tough workout releases endorphins, loosens up tense muscles, and makes me feel better overall.

Michael: Thanks, Deborah, for your great insights from a fresh perspective on leading healthy, growing small groups. And thanks for using your passion for God’s church!

QUESTION: What is the biggest takeaway for you as a leader from Deborah Ike’s interview? Please click the Comments box, below, to join the conversation!

Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: August 8-12, 2016

Here are the Small Group Leader TIPS for the last week as Tweeted, posted on our Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

QUESTION: Which TIP encourages you most? Which one challenges you most? Please share your response by clicking the Comment box below.

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

How to Start Lots of New Groups That Continue and Multiply

The 12-step strategy can be summarized in 4 words:

Focus short-term, plan long-term.

Many people are reluctant to join a long-term group, especially with people they don’t already know. Perhaps this is why so many small group events and campaigns fail. But people will try a short-term group (four to six weeks, maximum) that meets a specific felt need. Once they have made some friends in the group and experience life change (and this does not always take long to occur), they’ll stick with it. Here’s the 12-point strategy:

Plan a short-term (four- to six-week) group experience in which people naturally want to participate. These are often all-church campaigns tied to a sermon series. Find the best time(s) of year (fall or beginning of the new year, for instance) for these campaigns. Some churches do these short-term groups one night of the week in a big room with round tables.

Recruit the leaders for these short-term groups from your existing groups, especially those who are already sharing leadership. Often, the group leader from an existing group steps up to lead a short-term group with the expectation of returning to the original group at the end. The original group is led by one of the core team members. (Short-term group leaders can also be recruited from among staff members, elders, ex-group leaders and other leaders in the church.) The important thing is that you’re asking these leaders for only a 6-10 week upfront commitment (the duration of the short-term group plus a week or two on either end).

Begin every new group with a core team that shares leadership. The mistake many leaders make is launching new groups with one leader, which then limits the reproducibility of the group. The core team members will be selected early on from the new group members. They will share some of the facilitation leadership but, more importantly, the shepherding (investing into) of other members.

Plan for the long-term from the start. What will these short-term groups do after the initial group commitment ends? What will they study next? I provided several options for each type of group. I wanted these studies to lead to spiritual growth and be relatively easy to lead. I’ve found video-based curriculum usually work best.

Be certain in those initial weeks that every person is shepherded. Every person should be invested into. Each core team member should take responsibility for two or three others whom they call, send emails, meet with for coffee, pray with, and so forth.

Get everyone involved. Share ownership with everyone. Ask group members to bring food, read aloud, look up answers, ask the icebreaker question, etc.

A couple of weeks into the initial group experience, have the leaders begin to ask new group members what they think about the group. Would they be interested in continuing? We’ve found that most people say yes. (Those who don’t say yes usually have other plans, but they’d be willing to join another group later on.) If I developed the study these groups use, I write these questions into the lessons.

Communicate often with leaders and those who share leadership about upcoming plans. Would they be willing to continue leading this group for a while? Is there someone in the rest of the group who can become part of the core team? Will the leaders stay in the group for, say, six more weeks? What’s the process for continuing the group long-term, and who will lead it?

Make specific plans to continue meeting. At this point, don’t be afraid to ask for a commitment. Decide on all the particulars: where and when you’ll meet, who will lead, what roles others will take, etc.

Train. As the initial groups come to an end, plan a short group break, during which time (1) the group can either meet for a party or do a serving project together or both and (2) you provide a basic, upfront training event for emerging leaders.

Coach. Ask the original short-term group leader to slowly hand over leadership of the group (if necessary) and then continue to coach the new leader(s) to help the group to be healthy and grow.

Celebrate! A new leader has been developed and a group multiplication has occurred, so recognize it and celebrate. You want to see this same process happen again and again, so hold this up as a model.

 

3 More Must-Read Posts on Launching New Groups During Church Campaigns or Connection Events

Three Priorities for Briefing New Group Leaders, by Allen White

Choosing the Right Day to Launch Groups This Fall, by Allen White

12 Crowd-Sourced Ideas to Get More People Involved in Your Groups

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week for May 16-20, 2016

Here are last week’s Small Group Leader TIPS as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 5/16: “Admonish one another” is a command of Scripture. To grow spiritually, ppl sometimes need it. #toughlove

Tuesday, 5/17: Call a group member or 2 today simply to encourage. Be specific. Be thankful for them. #love #ministry

Wednesday, 5/18: #Prepare to lead a mtg well enough that you don’t have to overly rely on the study guide. Focus on ppl.

Thursday, 5/19: Make leading a mtg a team event. Get as many ppl as possible involved ahead of time! #Share #leadership
 
Friday, 5/20: Take the quiet person out for coffee/lunch, call them between mtgs, talk b4 mtg starts. #invest

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS!

 

Small Group Coaching & the 10-20-70 Model

As I coach and consult with small group point leaders and churches, I’m finding that coaching leaders is (still) a struggle for many. At the same time, I partner with several organizations that deal with coaching business leaders, and I’m applying what I’m learning in that environment to small group and church ministry.

Over the next several posts, I’ll share a few of the things I’m learning. Today, I want to discuss the 10-20-70 model of leadership development and how it relates to coaching.

I work in collaboration with with a worldwide organization called Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching. It’s founder, Marshall Goldsmith, recently shared a brief (less than a minute and a half) video about this 10-20-70 model and how it relates to business coaching, which you can watch here.

In the 10-20-70 model (often referred to as the 70-20-10 model for learning and development),

  • 10% of real leadership equipping happens in formal, content-centered settings (usually upfront)
  • 20% occurs as a person interacts with others (coaching)
  • 70% comes from job-related experience

My experience leading volunteers in churches, especially in small group ministries, bears this out. And yet, in the past, anyway, many leaders have put more emphasis on up-front content-centered training than the other two areas. Experience, however, points to on-the-job experience being the best trainer. That’s why Jesus carried out his ministry as he did, I suspect, sending out the newly chosen apostles soon after choosing them as such.

Let’s look at the numbers (and bear in mind that these numbers are not precise; I’m sure the percentages vary from one situation to another). What’s the best way for small group point leaders to utilize each of these areas? Here are my suggestions from my experience and research:

10% “Formal” Equipping — I think this must include some amount of vision casting and focus on the mission of the groups. Leaders need to be able to answer the why and what questions. That’s why Jesus told the disciples up-front why he was calling them and what they would become. It’s why Jesus reiterated the vision and mission before his ascension.

I would seek to answer these basic questions in this part of the training:

  • What is a small group at our church?
  • Why do we need them?
  • What is the goal?
  • What is a leader (or host or facilitator, etc.)?
  • Why is this role important?
  • How do we do groups? (These are your small group values.)

The other part of this equipping must be some kind of basic primer on how to lead a group. This can be done via online videos, for instance, but new leaders need to know at least the fundamentals of how a healthy group operates.

20% Coaching — As Goldsmith points out, this is the vital bridge between the other two types of leadership development. The coach:

  1. reminds and helps the new leader apply the upfront equipping
  2. ensures that the leader really is continuing to learn from the on-the-job experience

The coach uses good questions to accomplish #2, asking both general and some specific questions about the people, the meetings, the outcomes, etc. (I’ll talk in future posts about who these coaches are and what their roles are.)

70% OTJ Experience — Of course, this experience can be provided through intentional apprenticeship, sharing leadership as part of a Core Team, or in a Turbo Group (a group in which everyone is considered a leader-in-training and an intentional plan is in place for them to get experience and then step out to launch their own groups). I’ve used all of these.

I’ve spoken with point leaders who are using a different strategy, and I’m waiting to see how it works. Groups are started with a Host, with a very intentional track to become a Facilitator and then a Shepherd-Leader (think of this as a leadership ladder). The on-the-job experience (just-in-time training) is placed up-front and the experience is made safer by providing every resource these hosts need to succeed. They are also provided some sort of coaching (huddles, for instance) and, along the way, some content-centered training.

The important thing to note, I believe, is how vital the coaching element is to make this succeed. In forthcoming posts I’ll discuss some creative coaching ideas and seek to make coaching more simple and yet more effective than you ever thought it could be.

More About Coaching and Equipping

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: February 22-26, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 2/22: Simple yet powerful. DDIY. Don’t Do It Yourself. Lead w/ God and share leadership with others. #DDIY
 
Tuesday, 2/23: What got your small group here won’t get you there. Don’t settle for the same ol’ small group stuff.

Wednesday, 2/24: You’ve huddled together and learned gr8 thgs. Now brk the huddle and carry out the mission of your Head Coach.

Thursday, 2/25: You are a group of priests for God (Rev. 1:6). EVERY Christ follower offers up worship and intercession.

Friday, 2/26: Your grp has been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18). Discuss how to carry out that ministry.

All Small Group Leadership TIPS

__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the “Connect with Mike” box in the right column.
Posted by at

Finding FAST People

GUEST POST by Joel Comiskey, Ph.D., president of www.joelcomiskeygroup.com.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

I really wanted John to replace me as the small group point person. He was knowledgeable, talented, friendly, and likable. He was a good friend and always positive.

But he was the wrong guy. Why? He just wasn’t FAT. Or better, he wasn’t FAST.

I’m referring here to acronyms, and I like FAST the best:

F
aithful
     Available
     Servant-oriented
     Teachable

FAT works as well; it just leaves out the servant-orientation and might offend people in the process (although I do like to see people’s reactions when I tell them I’m looking for FAT people).

John had a lot going for him. But he lacked the FA (faithfulness and availability). I would frequently get the dreaded text before the Life group, “Hey, Joel, sorry, I forgot that my son has a birthday tonight.” Okay, I could understand that. We all have our forgetful moments. But then a few weeks later, I’d get another text before Life group, “Hey, Joel, I just got the parts to my broken air-conditioner, and I need to install them. I can’t make it tonight.”

But I was still convinced that John was the one. I just need to meet with him more frequently, I thought. Or maybe he just doesn’t understand the importance of being in a small group. So I talked to him more, showed up at his work for a visit, and gave him more attention. And during those times, he was all in. John was positive, confident, and agreeable.

But then a few weeks later, I’d get that fateful, common text, “Hey, Joel, I’m just not feeling well. My back really hurts. I’m going to have to cancel tonight.”

John’s problem was not his ability to lead the group; it was an internal problem of priorities. He lacked the deep-down commitment of making the Life group his priority. It was a value problem. He just wasn’t FAST. Now he might get there, but I realized that I simply had to redirect my attention to someone who was already FAST.

Tom was FAST. Yes, he was a newer Christian and had certain personality quirks. He lacked the knowledge of John, but oh was he FAST. He never missed and was even on time. I could count on Tom. Granted, Tom needed more training, and I would have to work with him, but he was FAST. I wouldn’t get the dreaded text message on Life group night.

I’ve been reminded by this experience to look for those who are FAST. There are a lot of talented people in the world, but if they don’t value small group life enough to make it a priority, they will never be the type you can count on.

The writer of Proverbs summed up my feelings precisely, “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble” (Proverbs 25:19). Faithfulness and availability always trump talent, personality, and expertise. Someone rightfully said that most of what we call success is simply showing up. Just showing up time after time wins the battles and places people in a position to learn, grow, and achieve great things.

As you look to develop leaders in your group, just remember that your leadership choice needs to start with those who are FAST.

MORE POSTS ON FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR LEADERSHIP

The “Right Person” to Lead a Small Group
10 Can’t-Miss Principles for Finding the WRONG Leaders
Stop Recruiting!
Seven Steps to Share the Leadership of Your Group

Is Your Small Group (or Church) Ready to Go Underground?

What will happen to the church and to small groups if (or when) it becomes illegal for Christian ministers to publicly hold up biblical values? What if your testimony became “hate speech”? These are the questions Francis Chan addresses in this three-and-a-half-minute video. The video, I believe, is actually misnamed. While politics is the backdrop of his comments here, Chan’s focusing on the church being the church it’s supposed to be. Take a look:


Francis Chan on Politics from Nate Hanson on Vimeo.

The church that Jesus imagined and founded, the one that is at its purest state, the church the early believers developed and grew under God’s guidance, was an empowered church. God empowers leaders who empower others who continue empowering generation after generation of Christ followers to share the simple and life-changing message of the gospel.

I’d like to think, and I pray it’s true, that if church buildings were closed and church leaders were jailed, the church would not only keep going but would become better and stronger.

It’s sad to me that it would take those kinds of extreme measures to get us to do what we were suppose to be doing in the first place. 

Perhaps we need to stop fighting so much for our “rights” and start empowering others and proclaiming the gospel as we should. Let’s start with prayer, recognizing God’s power, presence, and purposes. May his will be done!

In our small groups and churches, it’s time to share leadership! This is one of the 7 signs of a healthy small group and the one that is the biggest catalyst for a group growing, bearing fruit, and reproducing itself. (See Chapter 3 of Small Group Vital Signs.) It’s time to empower everyone in our groups and churches and to share ownership with every person.

Is your church and your small group ready to go underground? What are you doing to prepare? 

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

10 Stupid Things That Are Keeping Your Small Group from Growing
The Fool’s Gold of Group Discipleship: 6 Small Group Elements Easily Mistaken for the Real Thing
Seven Steps to Share the Leadership of Your Group

10 Can’t-Miss Principles for Finding the WRONG Leaders

Through my assessment of small groups as well as my experience leading groups and coaching other leaders, I’ve observed a direct correlation between leaders who hog leadership and groups that do not grow or multiply.
Leaders who lead healthy, growing groups share leadership with two to three others … but not just any two or three others. I’ve seen leaders pick the right people and the wrong people to share leadership with. Let’s look at how they end up choosing the wrong ones (and, by the way, these also work well for church leaders looking for small group leaders):
  1. Start by developing a recruiting strategy. Make a list of who you think are the right people. Use the normal list of qualifications: knowledge, abilities, charisma, and especially physical appearance. Then consider how you will twist arms to get the ones you want to take on this job.

    A Better Idea … Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send these “workers.” Yes, start with prayer. Trust him to help you know whom to ask.

  2. Announce you are looking for some co-leaders. Ask the group who wants to join you in leading the group. Or send around a sign-up sheet.
  3. Let the group decide. Better yet, ask everyone to make a case for why he or she should be a core team member (after all, this is an exclusive club!) and then have everyone in the group close their eyes and on the count of three, point to the people they think should be on the core team. The ones with the most votes win!

    A Better Idea … Wait and watch whom God leads you to. I wouldn’t even tell group members you are looking for “co-leaders.” Once you have begun praying, watch for whom God puts in front of you. Listen to his voice as you talk to people. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you interact with group members.

  4. Take anyone who is willing to help. People are busy; no one will want to sign up for this duty. So take anyone who might say yes. Don’t worry about their spiritual lives.
  5. Wait until you get potential co-leaders who meet all your expectations. This is an important job. These people may someday be leaders of new groups, so be cultivate extremely high standards. If no one meets your leadership expectations, don’t do anything. Just keep leading alone.

    A Better Idea … Watch for potential, not perfection. Look for servants, not saints. Look for humble hearts, not superior skills or incredible intelligence.

  6. Recruit people like you. Things will go much more smoothly if your core team members will lead with exactly the same style as you. After all, you are the leadership model. They should have the same gifts as you and will make decisions the same way as you.

    A Better Idea … Do just the opposite. God will likely lead you to people who do not lead like you. Because of that, you may not even see them as “leaders.” Set aside your expectations and trust God to do what only he can do. He is looking for Christlike, not you-like leaders.

  7. Look for people who have the most obvious leadership skills, people who have the spiritual gift of leadership, and people who are successful in business.

    A Better Idea … Consider the condition of their hearts. God will lead you to men or women after his own heart. By the way, leadership is not the only spiritual gift God can use to help lead a group. In fact, those with the gifts of mercy or shepherding or evangelism or other gifts might be the better matches with the gifts you have. Remember, it’s God’s job to put the body together, just as he wants it to be.

  8. Look outside your group. It’s unlikely that a suitable core team member is in your small circle. So look around your church for people with superior leadership abilities. Maybe an elder or deacon. Perhaps a businessman who isn’t connected yet.

    A Better Idea … Look around you. Perhaps God has already put your core team members close to you. They may be the women or men in the group with whom you already have close relationships or those whose gifts complement yours.

  9. Just do it all. It’s probably easier for you to keep leading alone. What real difference can it make?

    A Better Idea … Begin now to share ownership of the group with everyone. Let everyone be involved in the group process. This will help you lead into sharing leadership. (Read my post on the difference between sharing ownership and sharing leadership.) People hesitate to be on a team when the leader does too much. As the group’s leader you must grow in your ability to allow others to use their gifts.

    Leading alone leads to frustration and burnout for the leader and does not effectively help people in your group grow.

  10. Focus exclusively on caring for your group members. You are the group’s shepherd. It’s all about the people in your group right now. Don’t be concerned about anything outside of or beyond that.

    A Better Idea … and this is VITAL … Remember that sharing leadership is part of the discipleship process. It was part of how Jesus discipled and developed Peter, James, and John in his group. Sharing leadership is also a vital ingredient in multiplying leadership, reproducing groups, and expanding the kingdom of God. It’s a necessary part of our great commission to go and make disciples of all nations.

Leaders who hog leadership keep God’s kingdom from growing. Don’t do that!

*     *     *     *     *

Read More about Sharing Leadership with a Core Team

Leadership Is Not a Solo Act
The “Right Person” to Lead a Small Group
Two Rocket Boosters That Will Propel Your Small Group to Accomplish Christ’s Mission
How to Help Group Members Keep Growing and Growing

See more about how to develop a core team and share leadership in my book, The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership.

You can also purchase it in Portuguese here! (I spoke on this topic at two conferences in Brazil in March 2014.) 

The Brazil Cell-Church Conference: What I Learned … #3 – Burnout Is Universal

Robert Lay, holding up my book, The Pocket Guide
to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership,

translated into Portuguese

Brazilian leaders deal with burnout.

When I was first asked to speak on the topic of leader burnout in Brazil, I was surprised. Because of all the wonderful things I’ve heard about the Brazilian church, cells, and the people, not to mention the more relaxed pace of life there, I assumed they did not deal with burnout like we do in North America. I was wrong.
In my first session I walked through some of the reasons that leaders tend to burn out and later I talked about the dangers signs of burnout, especially for cell leaders. In more than 25 years of small group ministry, I’ve witnessed leaders unfortunately burning out and then stepping out of leadership.
I told the story of Don, a group leader in our church several years ago. Don’s group started smoothly and seemed to go well the first several months. But within the first year, Don called me to tell me he was stepping down from leadership. When I met with Don to ask what happened, he described the time he spent …
  • preparing for the meeting
  • calling members
  • caring for some of the needy people in the group
  • reaching out to lost people
  • inviting people to the group
  • discipling two of the newer Christians
  • dealing with issues and conflicts
  • helping his wife clean the house before the meeting
  • and praying daily for cell members

Don also had a growing family with three young children, a demanding job, and many other responsibilities.

Does that sound familiar to you, leader? Unfortunately, Don is just an example of the legions of leaders who are burned out, burning out, about to quit, or have already quit.

If you are reading this and you have lost your passion and joy for your ministry, I hope God can fill you back up. It’s one of his specialties. I just want to encourage you: Don’t give up! The kingdom of God needs you! But first, God wants you to be healthy. “Do not become weary in doing good. Because at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I wrote my book, The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership (a small book with a big name!) because I believe the stakes are too high for leaders to burn out and quit. And I believe there are much better solutions. That book describes several ways to lead so that you won’t burn out. The subtitle of the book provides a clue: “How to gather a core team and lead from the second chair.”  But I’ve learned two things over the years about beating burnout:
  1. It’s not just about burnout. The same principles that will keep you from burning out will also make you much more effective as a leader. They will help your group to grow, bear fruit, and multiply.
  2. That first discovery led to the second: Leading your group (or anything else, for that matter) in a healthy way will have two huge effects: (a) you will be much less likely to burnout; and (b) your group will grow, bear fruit, and multiply. You see, writing the book about burnout led me to write my next book, Small Group Vital Signs.
I spoke at the Brazil conference about several of the vital signs of a healthy group and how these vital signs would help these leaders to not only avoid burnout but to be effective and productive in their ministry. So I spoke about the absolute vitality that your group be a Christ-centered community. If your primary focus is on anything else, you will tend toward burnout as a leader and your group will not grow, bear fruit, or multiply.
I spoke on the fact that a healthy group demands a healthy, overflowing leader. This is my favorite topic to talk about, and I found that the people in Brazil responded the most to this topic, both times I spoke about it. Leadership, I believe, is simple: you as a leader must be putting yourself in the position to RECEIVE from Jesus, the true Vine, and then you will naturally OVERFLOW into those you lead.
In my fourth session I talked about the vitality of a leader sharing leadership with 2-3 others in a core team. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the major causes of burnout is when leaders try to do everything themselves, especially the responsibilities of shepherding and discipling group members.
In my last session, I spoke very personally about my own struggles with allowing my life to become upside-down and the huge toll that took on my relationship with God, marriage, family, and ministry. When we allow our ministry to become our priority, it can drown out our relationships with God, our spouses, our kids, and our friends. Burnout is often ultimately a result of living upside-down, allowing things other than God to be transcendent in our lives.
Leader burnout and ineffectiveness is a universal problem because we as humans tend toward living life and leading our own way rather than God’s way. It’s true in the USA and in Brazil and anywhere else in the world where people are less than perfect. But there are solutions.
Read the rest of the posts in this series on Brazil HERE