I am a leader. Everyone looks to me. Without me the project/program/business/ministry will fail. I am important. I carry the burdens. I am alone.
These are thoughts or ideas that often flow through the minds of leaders. Some may not be literally thinking them, but their actions show that they believe them. What a sad way to live, with the weight of a whole organization or project on your shoulders. Unfortunately, we all come to this place at one time or another. We feel like if we don't get it done, it won't happen. I've been there, I confess. Have you?
As a missionary, I've many times taken the burden of the call on my life as something only I could accomplish. I have carried many burdens of the ministry in secret and it takes its toll on my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I've been at the place where I thought that sharing my burdens with others or asking for help will burden or inconvenience them, so I hold it all in. I've also had the times where I do ask people to help, but they do it all "wrong" and teaching them to do it the way I like is more trouble than it's worth.
This way of living, thinking, believing leads to burnout as a leader. For me, being only 2 years on the mission field, I want to avoid burnout at any cost. I desire to have a long full life serving God and others on the mission field and am not ready to stop now. So what is the answer to overcome this hoarding of burdens and responsibilities?
My answer came in this picture recently posted by our ministry leaders in the Philippines...
This is our kids ministry celebrating their 3rd annual VBS!
This photo brings me bittersweet feelings.Since I am currently in the US, I'm missing out on the planning, execution, and joy of this glorious event. However, the sweetness comes from seeing and knowing that the leaders I've been teaching and pouring my heart into during the past 2 years have done a wonderful job.
I am not currently needed to run the kids ministry right now and that's ok. It brings me joy in knowing that the past 2 years of discipleship have produced fruit and the work continues in my absence. Glory be to God!
I believe (and am learning constantly) that when we as leaders take a step back and allow God to move through us and in spite of us, then we will see God's glory revealed and his Kingdom established throughout the earth.
I want to be involved in it all, leading alone, but I must have the wisdom and humility in knowing that the journey with others is much more abundant than journeying alone