Dear Discouraged Leader,
Being a leader (especially a church leader) is not the easiest thing in the world. But it isn’t the hardest thing in the world either.
You’re not alone. Leadership is hard at times. In fact, if you’re really leading, there’s rarely a season that isn’t filled with challenges.
After seeing leader after leader struggle with discouragement and even quit before their calling ran out, I wanted to write this note.
I’ve adapted this note from a post my good friend Casey Graham wrote to discouraged business owners. Seems church leaders and business owners might have a lot in common. It resonated so much I wanted to ensure that every discouraged church leader I know read it. (And you should read Casey’s stuff by the way.)
Bottom line: I feel you.
None of us really feel like the most successful person on earth. I don’t. You don’t. And even though our church is doing well at the moment and I have so much to be thankful for, I spend too many days wondering whether I’m missing something or feeling like we should be making more progress than we should.
You know what it’s like… The weight of:
- Budget and expenses
- People who promise the moon but never even deliver the earth
- New people who say they’re in and then walk away
- Your leadership feeling like it’s always under a microscope
- Not being where you thought you would be at this point in your leadership or life
- Uncertainty. Constant uncertainty.
- Team members you’re struggling with and just don’t know how to deal with
- Knowing your organization isn’t perfect and wishing it would be but knowing it won’t ever be
- Lack of gratitude; in others and in you
- Feeling let down by others
- You letting yourself down
- Seeing other people’s organizations & speaking & believing they have it easier than you do
- And on and on and on it goes…
This is the side of church leadership they never teach you in seminary.
So I want you to know something. The discouragement you feel inside is real & coming from somewhere. Think about this and let this sink in for a while today;
“The happiest & healthiest people are those whose expectations meet reality.”
What do you do with that?
Here are four questions every discouraged church leader would benefit from asking themselves: