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Puffed Up, Toxic and Defensive: This Might Work for Fish But Will Kill Your Ministry Effectiveness

2.  Have at least one real friend you don’t need to impress.

Every pastor needs at least one real friend who doesn’t care about the size of his church.

The kind of guy who won’t puff back when you start talking shop. The kind of relationship where conversations aren’t tweeted or instagrammed. A person who likes you for who you are and not what you do.

It’s possible this friendship might be with another pastor, but it’s more likely it will be with a regular person (as if all pastors are not regular people). There’s something refreshing about hanging out with a person who doesn’t know all the famous pastors you admire and who hasn’t heard of all the conferences you attend. They key here is not only not trying to impress this person … it’s that they won’t let you.

Deep down, I think all pastors want a real friend. Not just a coach. Not just a conference. I’m talking about a real friend who isn’t impressed by who you are or what you do.

3.  Control the flow of information.

I don’t know if it really helps, but every now and then, I reboot my computer. I feel like it speeds things up and closes out programs I’m not really using.

So when it comes to your spirit, maybe a reboot could help. Maybe you could clean the slate in some small ways and start over.

It could be unfollowing people on Twitter who bring out the worst in you. And if you’re like me, it will have little to do with what they are saying and how they are saying it, but everything to do with what’s happening in your heart. The same thing goes for blogs, websites and email newsletters.  

If you’re a conference junkie, maybe you could pass on the next one, and spend the time thinking, dreaming, praying or planning. A half-dozen people will post notes online, anyway.

Just step back for a little while. Maybe a season of not knowing what everyone else is doing would be good for your soul.

Shutting off some of the streams of information helps me reboot my system. I think it allows me to “be still and know He is God.”

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After two decades as a student pastor, church planter, senior pastor and leadership consultant, Michael Lukaszewski now leads the team at Church Fuel, an organization dedicated to providing insanely practical resources to pastors. He and his wife have three children and live in the Atlanta area. Learn more at churchfuel.com.