People who dream big and execute well run into particular hazards that most people don't encounter.  I've discovered that it's not uncommon for a true ministry visionary to be tired. As I coach others and navigate my own growth challenges at Auxano, I see five causes that block the future-minded leader from feeling 100%. Which formula below is sapping the healthy lifestyle, mental sanity or energy-filled style that faithfulness to God and his vision deserves?

#1  God's Vision + Man's agendas  = Too much work: In the pursuit of a better future, some leaders can't say no to non-essentials and the distractions that other people bring. The weight-load is more than any leader is designed to bear. Eventually something gives. Either added agendas are purged from the leadership equation or the leader cracks under too much pressure.

#2 Personal Drivenness + God's Vision = Too much work: Yes, vision too can become an idol. Every great gift from God runs the risk of eclipsing God as a practical source of life and motivation. When a God-given vision becomes too important and displaces God himself, the soul-battery will begin to wear down with no connections to the ultimate power source. Here's a good related  post by my friend William Vanderbloemen on the subject, How's Your Dashboard?

#3 God's Vision - God's Timetable = Too much work: Sometimes a leader is right on spot with the vision, but confused with time zone. Think of how long Abraham waited for God's promises to arrive.  Our taste for instant gratification has become so refined (in North America especially) it's all too easy to press ahead faster than God wants. If God's delivering 3-day standard, insisting on overnight express will kill the leader's vibe. 

#4 God's Vision - Empowering Others = Too much work: There is nothing more exciting than watching God's vision unfold. When it does, the visionary must discover and develop God's people carry the load. All it takes is a dash of ego and few years of ministry success to leave you like Moses in Exodus 18. In this context everyone was tired, because the God-provided leadership for the nation was not deployed. 

#5 God's Vision - Personal Growth = Too much work: This last formula is the hardest to admit. Sometimes the vision is so powerful, and the success is so stunning, the sheer complexity of God's extraordinary work outpaces the leaders appetite for personal growth. The growth area may be in the discipline of execution, the learning of new perspectives, or just staying connected to people. The list goes on. Yesterday's skill-set can't match today's challenges. The resulting strategy is to pedal harder and spin faster rather than shifting gears or getting a new bike. 

Which one of these energy drains are you feeling these days? What formulas would you add? 
Topics: Date: Mar 8, 2010 Tags: burnout / ministry treadmill / visionary leadership