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.