5 Ways To Fight Discouragement (pt 1) by Perry Noble
All of us deal with it…but especially church leaders.
Those days when we just can’t seem to hit on all cylinders…when we wonder if what we do is making a difference…when we wished we had a job where we merely stacked rocks all day long and could clock out at 5:00 and go home.
BUT…we don’t…we do what we do because we’re called. So…when times of discouragement come–how do we deal with them?
I noticed the other day when reading I Samuel 30:1-6 that the Bible says, after an INCREDIBLY discouraging event in his life, that David found strength in the Lord his God…that he encouraged himself…how do we do that?
#1 – STOP Comparing Yourself To Other People/Churches/Ministries.
When we compare we ALWAYS lose because there is ALWAYS someone who does it better, has a larger congregation and/or seems to always have the great ideas.
Too many leaders spend way too much time in a pit of discouragement because they feel as if they are not as good as “so and so!”
God didn’t ask us to be in a state of comparison…because comparison OFTEN leads to compromise because we want what others have…and so we will go against God’s vision for our lives/the church to get what we perceive needs to be gotten!
BUT..as leaders, when we stand before Jesus and are held accountable one day (Hebrews 13:17) we will not answer for what other churches/ministries did and did not do…but rather what we did with the vision and gifting that He blessed us with.
#2 – Surround Yourself With Encouraging People
I personally cannot imagine not working in an environment where there isn’t an abundance of encouragement.
One of the reasons that some church leaders are always discouraged is because they are surrounded by people who make them want to drive their car off of a cliff. These people would be…
- The person who feels like it is their gifting to point out every problem when an idea is discussed.
- The person who is always having a bad day…and feels like you should know about it.
- The person who feels like it is the leaders job to always pump them up and get them excited.
- The person who supports you publicly but bashes you privately.
- The person who is always taking shots at you and then, when confronted, claims they were only joking.
- The person who always “that” look on their face every time they see you. (You know, the one that says, “I smell a fart…it’s gross…and I just can’t deal with it!”)
- The person who has the gift of “stare and glare” and often use it on you when you are casting vision for your ministry!
I could go on…(and I am sure you could to)…but the point is probably well taken…discouraging people are a drain!!!
(Please understand…I fully acknowledge that people have bad days. BUT…when someone has had a bad day every single day for over a week or two…that person ISN’T the person ANYONE wants to be around!)
It is essential for a leader to have an atmosphere of encouragement because it is in this atmosphere that leadership can thrive…not just survive!
My challenge…take a look at the people around you and ask…
- Do they bring me joy or drain the heck out of me?
- Would I hang out with these people if we didn’t work together?
Like I said…I believe I work in one of the most encouraging environments on the planet!!!
It’s not just how hard you work that will make a difference…but WHO you work with is essential as well.