7 Effective Ways to Battle Discouragement in Leadership

If you talk to most leaders long enough to get a real answer to ‘So how’s it going?” you will quickly discover that a surprising number of leaders are disheartened.

Even discouraged.

For several years now, I’ve done a new reader survey for anyone who signs up to receive my blog via email.

You know what hundreds of leaders facing many different situations have in common? They’re discouraged. 

Sure, the problems are specific (and they provide fuel for the subjects I try to address on this blog), but underneath so many of them is a single issue: So many leaders are demoralized and dejected.

Add ministry to leadership and it gets even harder. I’ll be the first one to admit that a large part of the battle in leadership is this: overcoming discouragement.

If you don’t develop a strategy, you won’t stay in leadership long.

So the big question is, how do you overcome the tough seasons?

How do you overcome discouragement in leadership? Here are seven things that have helped me.

1. Remember your calling.

Most of us didn’t get into ministry—or even leadership—without some sense of calling.

I know for me, personally, my call into ministry was definitely something I sensed from God, not anything I dreamt up myself (I outline some of the story behind my call to ministry in this message).

Even if you volunteered for ministry and don’t have a dramatic call story, your gifting is evidence that God has equipped you for ministry. And the truth is, we’re all called to ministry, whether we work at a church or not. (That’s why it’s so critical for the church today to rethink what it means to be called to ministry.)

God got you into ministry. He’ll get you through it.

Remember that. It will grow your trust in God.

2.Shift the weight.

There is a weight to leadership that every leader feels. And some of that is healthy. If you don’t feel the pressure of leadership, it can be a sign that you’re not engaged.

Things become unhealthy, though, when you bear all the weight of ministry.

Jesus promised that you don’t need to do that. If you’re truly leading in him, you still bear a burden, but it’s a light burden.

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Carey Nieuwhof
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.

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