By: Dave Ragsdale, Vice President of Counseling & Team Training Every Christian leader can practice healthy self care with 3 simple strategies that involve: A Priority, A Plan and People. 1. Make Self Care a top Priority 2. Create a Good Self Care Plan 3. Enlist the People that will support your plan. I am not going to give you 10 steps to practice self care. This is not a “How To” workshop because most self care is plain common sense. You need to exercise, see your doctor, spend quiet time with your family and friends, set better boundaries with work, plan that vacation, take that Sabbatical, have some fun on a regular basis, there’s a 1001 ways to do self care. What I want to do is inspire you to do self care if you’re not. You might be practicing self care, but maybe you need to be more intentional. Take some time to think about how you can apply the three principles I listed to your own context. Do you have a good suggestion for other leaders? Maybe, the best question is to ask how you are getting intentional about planning self care… and then actually following through… post some good suggestions or resources you would point other Christian leaders to use. Stay tuned to learn more about principle #1 (make self care a priority) in the next post.
by: Dave Ragsdale, Vice President of Counseling and Team Training People often ask me why leaders are so vulnerable to burn out and do not practice self care. It is no surprise that throughout the world Christian leaders are suffering from symptoms that are a result of self care neglect. They are overworked and overextended. They are over exposed to stress and underdeveloped as leaders. While ministry organizations are often culpable in reinforcing these patterns, it is often the leaders “over-functioning” and heroic tendencies that drive them into their own symptoms of burnout. Stretched to the breaking point and lacking a theology of self care, many end up with a complete loss of resiliency. It becomes a really bad witness. Along with burning out many are acting out with addictive behavior, sometimes destroying themselves, their relationships and their ministry. An addiction is a failure to care well for self. An affair is a failure to care for yourself in marriage… a failure to guard your heart. For men, it is a failure to form close trusting relationships with other men. Burning out at work is a failure to protect you and set boundaries, then work just becomes the Mistress. Being a leader means you are “at risk”to some of these patterns. Leadership is an at risk occupation! But when leaders wise up and learn to guard themselves /care for themselves they will minister with joy out of a full heart, they will go the distance, not burn out, they will set a life giving tone in their organizations they serve. And so, how can leaders start to practice self care? How do you practice it? Send us some of your best suggestions for good self care to [email protected] Watch for some of my suggestions on self care in the next blog post.
Upon arriving at the QuietWaters Retreat one person commented, “I was anxious about meeting my counselor and about being away from my home and family, but found the Retreat Center to be a hospitable and welcoming place.” The MakeOver of the backyard of the QuietWaters Retreat will add to it being a hospitable and welcoming place. Today I took some pictures to be able to give you an update on the new Landscaping.
The pergola is taking place.
View of newly painted caboose.
Last Saturday a group led by Joe Lothringer including Kim Lothringer, Lisa Brown, Pat and MK Ritchen, and Les Massoletti painted our caboose RED. We all know that cabooses are red and now QuietWaters caboose is red too. When finished inside, the caboose will serve as a prayer chapel and a meeting room for pastoral staff meetings, church leadership meeting that need to take place during the week when the Retreat is in use.
Today I’m at the Retreat overseeing the continuing work on the MakeOver of the re-landscaping. Board member Mel Medema is overseeing the project, but is out of town today. So I’m not so sure that the project is in good hands with me as the overseer. However, with Joe and his concrete crew and Steve with his landscape crew, I don’t have much to worry about. As Jason said in the last blog, we are an Extreme MakeOver: Pastor Edition with our new landscaping project. To keep you up-to-date I took some photos today, September 6, 2012 showing the progress.
Here you can see the forms for three of the four patios. The fire pit will be in the middle of the circular patio near the wall and the fountain will be in the middle of the patio in the foreground.
A workman prepares for the cement pour that will take place on Monday.
QuietWaters has an exciting project in the works. If you can’t wait to find out what it is, or if the picture isn’t a good enough of a hint… skip to the end of this post to find out the details… All of the construction and modification reminds me of a cultural phenomenon in America — reality television. Reality shows are more popular now than ever. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad reality shows clogging the airwaves, like “I Cloned My Pet,” and “Finding Bigfoot.” Personally, I’d rather see a twist on those shows: “Finding My Pet”… or “Cloning Bigfoot.” I’m not ashamed to admit it… I love a good reality show (I know, the phrase “good reality show” is at best an oxymoron)… I only have one criteria for a “good reality show.” It has to be about genuine change. The really good ones inspire people to have hope. We all want to be inspired by “normal” people who do extraordinary things. One of the shows that kept my family glued to the television for years was Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. Everyone in the living room was crying by the end of the program (I think the dog was even a little misty eyed). Everyone who received a “home makeover” had their dignity restored… and had hope for the future. QuietWaters is in the “hope business.” People arrive in despair, and our counselors give them hope to face another day. Our ministry puts people and families back together. We’re kind of the Extreme Makeover: Pastor Edition. The Retreat Center is getting a “makeover!” We are re-landscaping the entire back yard to
Progress in the Makeover
include a fountain, fire-pit, prayer garden and other relaxing features. More updates and photos to follow on the blog. The garden is going to be amazing when it’s finished. If you would like a tour of the Retreat Center, email us at [email protected]. One more thing — if you could be on any reality show — which one would it be… we might even post the results in an upcoming post. Jason Hanselman Vice President for Development
We are introducing a blog to the Quiet Waters Ministries website to enable us to provide you with frequent updates and encouraging words. You will hear from several staff members about new happenings at QWM and good articles to help you with self-care, growth and vision as you carry out your call to ministry. QuietWaters is all about renewal, so we want to provide information that will help you realize renewal. QuietWaters is all about restoration, so we want to give you tools that can address your restoration. QuietWaters is all about strengthening you for ministry, so we want to give you suggestions on ways to be strengthened. QuietWaters is all about you, so we want you to know about new ways in which QWM is providing for your enrichment. So check our blog often and join us on this ministry journey. Jim Schlottman