I’m writing this on Friday of pretty much the last week of the year when anyone pays attention to anything work-related. From this weekend until next year begins, everyone will be distracted by family stuff, shopping, parties, meals, and not working as much as possible.
And that’s all good. Except that I had planned on getting a LOT done this week to wrap up some projects and clear the deck for some new ones.
And then I spilled tea on my laptop and spent a whole day trying to get it to work.
Today, I’ll drop it off at the repair place (I thankfully bought Apple Care this time) and I’m taking over my wife’s laptop in the meantime. But I lost a day, which crunches all the other things up together into a Friday mess to untangle. It wasn’t even that much tea.
When I was finally done declaring it to be the worst day ever, I reflected on all that has been going on in the world around and beyond me, and I found myself very thankful that my biggest personal problem right now is a computer.
The other day, I was caught in a traffic jam on the interstate because someone’s wrecked car was on the shoulder, on fire (the driver was okay). Traffic jams are annoying. Watching your car go up in flames is much harder. Trying to survive in a war-torn country in the middle of a humanitarian crisis is spiritually and emotionally paralyzing.
Regardless of how hard some of our days might be, it is ultimately grace and gratitude that give us life and vitality in a world of suffering. And while my work has piled up, so have the good gifts of God – playing Nertz with my wife (especially when I win), opening Advent truck bottles with my boys, sharing coffee with a couple of good friends (but not tea – I’m mad at tea right now) – these moments are far more significant and life-giving than we realize.
So my hope for you this season is that even if your laptop breaks or your car catches on fire, you’re still able to reflect on and rest in the good gifts of God – especially the gift of Jesus Christ!
I didn’t write any special leadership article this week (because of the Great Tea Incident of 2023), but I did want to pass along three things.
First, an invitation. The other day I shared with a group of clergy about the tools I believe will help rescue leaders experiencing burnout. One of those tools was finding spaces to convene and gather with others walking through the same thing, both online and off. I recently launched a Facebook group for that purpose. In 2024, I’m going to host two live workshops each month inside the group to share insights on spiritually and emotionally healthy leadership.
Feel free to join so you’ll know when those live workshops are happening.
Second, in January I’m planning on dedicating a lot of time to coming alongside leaders who are experiencing pain, hardship, and burnout. My flagship one-on-one coaching program is called Burnout to Breakthrough and if you sign up before the end of this calendar year (to start fresh in January), it’s 30% off the cost!
(By the way, if you need help but this program doesn’t feel like an option, reach out to me anyway. I’d love to see how I might be able to encourage you in your journey.)
And third, I did manage to record a new Walk Humble podcast episode this week about Zechariah and how we sometimes express doubt out of places of pain and why that’s maybe okay.
In the meantime – during these last couple of weeks of Advent and then on into the new year – may you not spill any tea on your computer and may you experience the good gifts of God’s grace!
Keep on growing!
PS – It’s not time to shut down for the holidays quite yet. If you’re experiencing burnout or have a desire to make 2024 a year of breakthrough on both a personal and professional level, let’s book a half-hour clarity call together!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
THE BIG IDEA: You don’t have to be the Savior of the world – that role belongs to Jesus alone. And when you begin to see yourself as merely the Voice, the channel, the bearer of his good news, suddenly life is far more simple and joy is far more easily attainable.
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
This Christmas sermon looks at the cosmic Christmas story told in Revelation 12. It challenges the audience to reframe the meaning of Jesus’s birth within the cosmic worldview of the Bible. Jesus’s birth was an attack against the powers of Satan.
Links for Leaders
- Here’s a pretty handy Family Financial Planning Step-by-Step Guide from Grant Sabatier at Millennial Money.
- My friend Clarence Stowers, Jr. a Chicago-land Pastor, shares 10 Pro Tips to End 2023 on a High Note.
- This is an informative article (and scary, if you’re doing “church” in an unsustainable way) about Religious Decline, And The Secular Religion Of Community.
- And here’s a nice piece in Entreprenuer about how Your Personality Type Determines Your Leadership Potential. (I don’t like the way that’s worded – I think your personality might determine how you can move toward your potential, not if you can, but the article is helpful.)
Events for Church Leaders
February 26-28, 2024
San Antonio, Texas
Convening and recruiting people who repair local economies – Join us as we facilitate ongoing conversations across geographies that help people build the economic architecture so everyone will thrive.
March 4 – 7, 2024
Although making disciples is the clear mission of the Church, when asked, most churches say that making disciples who make disciples is still their biggest weakness.
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