Last week, I wrote a blog entry on Simple Daily Disciplines. It struck me as I was writing that article that I not only have simple daily disciplines, but I have weekly, monthly and yearly ones as well. In the next couple weeks, I will post an article on each of those topics in hopes that my disciplines might help you as a leader in ministry.
There are three Simple Weekly Disciplines that I follow:
1. Exercise 3-4 times a week:
I can hear people asking, “What does this have to do with leadership?!?!” Honestly, it has a lot to do with leadership. I find that living a healthy life-style is one of the most effective ways to be a good leader. When I’m feeling good and am living a healthy life, it frees me up to expend extra energy in my leadership roles and family. Having been pretty consistent with my workouts for the past 10 years, I find it results in the following:
- I’m not as tired. I can more easily work through long days and be productive.
- My attitude is improved, which transfers to the people I work with.
- I feel better about my self-image.
These all enhance my ability to be a good leader.
2. Write thank you notes:
Every week, there are people that deserve my thanks in helping me in my ministry. Sometimes that list is short and sometimes, it’s long. I want them to know how grateful I am for the work they do and the impact they have on my life and ministry. On Monday, I spend thirty minutes writing hand-written thank you notes. “What?! Hand-written?!” I know, I have terrible handwriting and I love technology, but I handwrite them because it shows that I am willing to take a few extra moments to write a note. Anyone can write an email in a second. A hand-written note takes a little extra effort.
3. Send a weekly email update:
Ministry is just as prone to the silo effect as the business world. It is easy to work in my own little ministry bubble and not let people know what I am doing. One of the practices that I have found very effective in breaking the silo mentality is to take a few moments to email my colleagues and supervisor about what I have going on this week in my ministry. It’s a simple communication tool that opens up collaboration. It opens the door to input and feedback. Plus, numerous creative ideas have been developed due to communicating in this way. Depending on your setting, it might make sense to send a weekly update to your key ministry volunteers as well.
What are your Simple Weekly Disciplines?