Each year, many of us set new goals to spend time in contemplative prayer, and seek to move both our lives, and missions forward. As I have established FAITH Goals for the New Year, there are 5 items that must be in every spiritual leader’s schedule to remain healthy and whole!
Not one of these items will ever gain recognition or accolades. They are the private decisions that breed public success. Examine your weekly schedule according to these criteria.
- Personal Meals with Family: Nothing prioritizes family like time at the table eating. Now I must confess, the older the children have become, the more challenging it has become. However, your family is worth it.
- Intimate time with Spouse: This doesn’t happen naturally or by accident. It doesn’t happen in front of a TV binge watching on Netflix. We have been formed with the capacity to be Emotionally, Spiritually, and Physically intimate. In marriage, all three are provided. For those who are SINGLE, I would encourage you to focus on the Emotional and Spiritual intimacy. While physically intimacy at a sexual level isn’t possible, there are healthy options (i.e., manicure, massage, etc…).
- Create Space to Listen to the Lord: Many have written in depth about prayer, bible study, and other spiritual disciplines. Suffice to say here, there is no substitute to time. However, let me caution you according to my own mistakes. Time must not only be spent listening to the voice of God’s Spirit about your career or ministry, take time to listen to what God is say to your spirit concerning your own soul, relationships, and family. This time must be created!
- Intentionally & Personally Investment: Every spiritual leader, no matter the level or size of our ministry must intentionally and personally invest. Our calling demands that we invest in 1-Leaders that God has already entrusted to us; 2-Followers that God has called us to lead; and 3-Unbelievers who we are called to reach. We are still to do the work of an evangelist.
- Investment in Self: As my friend John Palmer says, “Self-Care is not Selfish!” May this be a year that you value your own life, as much as God does. He redeems you Body-Mind-Spirit. May you invest in your body through movement/exercise, in your mind through emotional health and intellectual engagement, and in your spirit through God’s TRUTH.
Each week, as you prioritize your schedule, be sure to schedule your priorities.