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Dead Hearts, Leadership Struggles and How to Break Free

3. Don’t over-personalize your failures and successes.

My kids remind me all the time I can take things too personally. They’re right.

If your church or organization is in a season of incredible growth, it might not be because you’re so awesome. And if it’s sputtering, it might not be because you’re so incompetent.

Actually, a lot of the issues in your church might not have much to do with your church anyway, as I outlined in this post.

4. Decide to trust—again.

This one is huge. Because most of us are once-bitten, twice-shy, it’s so important to consciously re-engage your heart and trust people again. Someone may have hurt you, but not everyone will.

Yes, you will be vulnerable, but trust again. God did. And still does. Jesus’ arms were wide open when he died, despite the pain of the wounds and the scars.

5. Fight isolation.

Community is the problem for most of us (it’s hard to get hurt all by yourself). But community is also the solution.

You will want to be alone. Don’t.

Solitude is used by God. Isolation is used by the enemy.

Talk to God. And talk to a friend. Find a mentor. Process privately while leading publicly. And yes, sometimes go see a counselor. My very first trip to a counselor more than 10 years ago happened because I realized my heart had gone hard. We were coming out of a very difficult time as a church (we were in transition). His help was providential. And it’s one of the reasons my heart still beats and can still leap and soar today.

That’s what I’ve found helpful.

What about you? Please tell me, what’s one or two things you’ve done to bring new life to your heart when it’s become hardened?  

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.