Leaders – Beware Fatigue!

Leaders – Beware Fatigue!

On a prayer walk today I was struck by a line that came up in a leadership forum I was honoured to speak at yesterday. The line was “Beware Fatigue!” – and it resonated with some of the leaders present.

So far 2020 has been an incredibly unusual time for everyone, but I want to speak to those who do what I do: Lead a church.

As soon as we entered lockdown, church leaders had to begin thinking about changing almost EVERYTHING, as multiple departments closed, public settings shut down and most endured the huge discovery curve of taking many ministries, groups and services online. Adrenaline pumped, and it was actually a tad exciting (apart from those touched by grief or real anxiety in the moment).

But 12 weeks into lockdown and the adrenaline has subsided (anyone else?!), and for some, fatigue, or even exhaustion, has visited your life. That’s normal and even to be expected. But it also has certain dangers that we must avoid.

The caution I sense for some Church leaders is simply this: July, August and September 2020 are going to be a time of tough decision making, as we begin to consider and attempt “in-person” services once again. It will be a summer of considered research, long team meetings and experiments in services, some of which we hope will work well, and others that may fail. Summer may be very taxing and tiring indeed.

In fact, the brain power, energy and leadership required in this summer season may be even more taxing than March and April, and so if you feel you need to rest – NOW IS THE TIME.

You see, fatigued me just wants church to go back to normal! Fatigued me is so tired of making decisions with so little proven reference points. EVERYTHING is new! It’s exhausting. Fatigue will cause you to be irritated at your team, rush decisions, dictate decisions just to get things over with, or even freeze and procrastinate, unable to make a decision at all. Oh, I’ve been there!

But think it through: This July you will almost certainly be starting to consider:

  • What the government advice will be for church services – you may only get 5 days notice if past announcements are anything to go by. We may not know the numbers allowed to gather at one time or the social distancing requirements until just before. You’re going to have to be nimble!
  • How to return to safe “in-person” services in your venue if you have one, or working through how to hire a space/s (8 in our case!), or whether to risk the British summer and head outdoors?
  • Whether to drop the digital ministry advancement made in this time (Which I think would be a disastrous shame for many) or whether to invest further in online presence – including technical staff and online pastors.
  • What to do when you find you’re putting on volunteer intensive in-person services, but half your members feel it’s too soon, feel vulnerable or have simply got used to that Sunday morning lie-in!
  • What things need to change, what needs to stop, and what do you want to take with you into this new season.
  • How to step forward into a new era of opportunity, rather than step back into what was. Many feel this has been a deeply prophetic time, full of a sense of “reset” and preparation – Fatigue won’t be able to grasp this opportunity or enter this new era. An energised you will!

Refreshed you will be able to flex with the new season. Your mind will be willing to percolate new information, your emotions will be energised enough to care for your team, your body will get you out of bed, ready to face another day of new opportunities. For most of us, when we are rested we are optimists, when we’re exhausted, we’re pessimists. You need to give your church and team a rested you.

So, I wanted to give my fellow church leaders a prod – Make sure you’re rested. This summer is going to be intense when it comes to making decisions, energising your team and experimenting with new ministry opportunities. Don’t feel guilty in taking a rest – a rested leader, is a better leader.

AND HERE’S HOW I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU FURTHER: The next 2 nights, 8pm on YouTube and Facebook I’m going to be talking about what is God saying about moving out of lockdown. I’ll be considering the prophetic and practical trends currently reshaping our world through this pandemic season, and how we can adjust our lives, teams, churches and ministries to flex with the changes. What’s the biggest mistake you could make right now as a leader? How can you turn the pandemic into a launch pad for greater Kingdom impact? 

In this mini-series, broadcasting from Friday 19th June 2020 on 
YouTube and Facebook, I will lead and inspire you to embrace the “New Normal” and get ready for life and ministry after lockdown. How to prepare your team, what kind of leader you need to be, how church can return to “in-person” services, what divine opportunities ought not to be ignored, and how to evaluate, redesign and reshape your church for the new era ahead.

Join us Friday 19th & Saturday 20th June at 8pm on
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/jarrodlcoopertv and
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JarrodLCooper

5 Responses

  1. Elisabeth Heeley says:

    I have decided to make July my month of rest and hearing from God and adjusting my ministry as I read in Isaiah “See I am doing something new…” Pastors can still contact their flocks by phone and sending emails with a teaching and comforting words. For me, Prophetic leaders, I will soon email you want I see and believe what I heard… 💞

  2. dianewoodrow says:

    Great post. I’ve been praying for my church leaders for ages about doing too much (possibly even before all this!!), and like Adam says too, trying to make decisions for the future without enough information.
    And I’ve also been saying that grabbing some “God time” isn’t enough. There needs to be some flopping about just being time.
    Thank you for writing this. And again lovely to be confirmed in what I’ve been saying and praying X

  3. Adam Carver says:

    This is great Jarrod. A timely reminder and spot on! I’m certainly in that place where I’m fatigued trying to make decisions (or wanting to make them) but realising that I don’t have enough information to make an informed decision on so many things! So many unknowns!

    I’m loving this time of reset and developing a deeper intimacy with Jesus as well as seeing ways to make adjustments to teams but working all that through also takes up extra time.

    ……..time to book some days out of the diary and turn the phone off!

    Thanks so much!!

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