It’s hard to believe it, but Christmas is just around the corner (I’m pretty sure you realized that by now!). This can be a wonderful time of year…or it can be a complete nightmare. How do we, as ministry leaders, maximize the season and lead well? Here are five ideas:
1. Focus on people, not program.
The holidays can be a heavily programmed time of year. Depending on your church, you may not have a choice but to drive the program during this season. But that doesn’t mean that you have to put people second. In all your interactions, planning for the programs, etc., always keep the needs and concerns of the people in mind. Always seek to invest in those involved, not just use them to to fill a spot in the Christmas play.
2. Don’t neglect your own family.
The demands of the season can be many. I hear it all the time:
- “But I have to be at the church…”
- “It’s my job…”
- “The Christmas musical would fall apart without me…”
Yep, all that might be true. But that’s no excuse for giving your family second best. I don’t offer specific ideas on how to solve this issue except this: Figure it out. What is important in your life gets your time and attention. Your relationship with God and your family should never be superceded by your ministry, even during the holiday season. I’ll say it again: figure it out.
3. Don’t be a grinch.
It’s well known that the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year, and leading in ministry isn’t excluded. It can really wear you down. For most of us, getting worn out means we start fighting attitude problems. Be aware of this and what your “buttons” are. Stay focused on setting the tone with your attitude and not letting those buttons get pushed. Being a grinch during the holidays likely will cost you some leadership influence in the New Year.
4. Be sure to celebrate the season personally.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are not just for the people in your church…they are for you! It’s a time for thankfulness, reflection and the wonderful celebration of YOUR Savior coming to earth. It’s an opportunity for YOU to worship the King of Kings.
Be intentional about carving out opportunities to celebrate these truths personally. That might be making sure you get to the services with your family. It might mean you find some private worship time. It might mean taking a few minutes daily to walk through a holiday season devotional. Your own personal celebration can take many different forms. Be intentional and celebrate!
5. Capture momentum heading in to the New Year.
The holidays can be an enormously profitable time in sharing a great vision for the future. Good leaders are always thinking beyond the present, and the holidays are no different. How can you capture the joyful spirit and translate it into movement in the New Year? What relationships can you create and/or deepen that you can draw from after the holidays? What spiritual investment can you make in the life of a parent or leader that you can continue beyond the season? Or how can you maximize the giving spirit to draw people into making a tangible investment in the vision of your ministry?
Leaders find a way to not only enjoy the season, but also use it to influence the future. How are you doing that?
What do you do to ensure you lead well during the holidays?
This article originally appeared here.