There is a characteristic too easily forgotten in leadership, often accounting for a lack of motivation among one’s people. What is it? Enthusiasm.
Church leaders often tell their churches what should happen and how. If it sounds too academic in tone, however, then their members may wonder how deeply a leader is committed to a plan. On the other hand, when a leader is enthusiastic about the direction the church should go, that enthusiasm becomes contagious. Why is that enthusiasm often absent? I found often it comes down to two reasons.
First, leaders don’t always watch their physical fitness. Being out of shape takes its toll on one’s enthusiasm. It’s hard to be excited about something if you are feeling tired and exhausted physically.
I’ve told many that the ministry will keep you in shape spiritually if you let the Word speak to you before you share it with your people; however, it will not keep you in shape physically. Everyone needs something to help them stay in shape. For me personally, I find that daily exercise not only helps my cardiovascular system, but also leads to more energy and enthusiasm.
A second reason I have found for the lack of enthusiasm is that leaders don’t always take the time to get away and have genuine vacation time. I’m talking about a time when he can leave the emails, phone calls, and appointments behind and just relax.
For me that’s often spending a week in the mountains hunting. My dear wife typically spends time relaxing indoors with a buddy’s wife, while he and I go out to hunt. We love the mountains, so it’s a very relaxing time for both of us.
When people find out I love to hunt, they sometimes comment, “I do too.”
But, if I ask, “How did you do last year?” they often respond, “I have not gone hunting for a while. I just don’t have the time.”
That’s the type of mentality I’m addressing—not having enough time. Take the time to get away and do something that recharges your batteries, restores your energy, refreshes your spirit, and causes you to come back excited about the ministry that lies ahead.
Whatever you need to do to restore your enthusiasm, do it! It’s not an overstatement to say the presence or lack of enthusiasm can make or break your leadership.