We recently had the “Bennett Boys” over while their parents David and Heather went out for a birthday dinner. We love those boys! Austin is 12, Hudson is 8 and Jackson is 7.
They are great kids. They’re smart, love Jesus, and are lots of fun! One thing they all have in common is energy. Lots of energy!
Our little dog Nacho is a play machine. He never tires of playing with anyone who will give him attention. Well, he met his match that evening. The boys wore that pup out! Nacho slept great that night!
I’m a high-energy and long-endurance guy, but when I see kids play I think, “Wow I’d love some of that energy!” Like the Energizer Bunny! (My favorite one… with Darth Vader!)
Leaders need energy to lead. Stress and pressure drain energy, and it’s important to know how to restore and refuel your energy reserves. The following are among the best ways to recharge!
Accomplishment: This may seem counter-intuitive. More work? No, the idea here is not more work, but finished work. Much of what we do is never done. At the core, ministry is relationship-based with a goal of changed lives, and that is never done. But there is a fair amount of stuff like writing a lesson, an important phone call or a difficult meeting. They can be completed! Sometimes it’s smart to just get some things checked off your list! It’s a real energy boost.
Exercise: We’ve long known this is true, but many busy leaders make excuses for why they don’t exercise. I hope you are not in that group. But if you are, let me encourage you. Even just 3-4 times a week for 40 minutes can make a huge difference! Start small; don’t kill yourself. Do something that works for you and keep at it. You’ll be amazed at the results—it’s a major energy giver!
Helping Someone: You help people every day. But I’m talking about helping someone that isn’t directly related to your church or ministry. Helping a neighbor move a piece of furniture in their home, driving a friend without a car to the airport, or giving a financial gift to someone in need. There are nearly limitless ways to help others. It makes you feel good and your energy level increases!
Laughter: We all need to smile more, laugh more and enjoy life. Leaders spend so much time facing conflict, solving problems and managing tension that the importance of laughter becomes critical. You obviously can’t add this to your to-do list or schedule it like exercise! But your attitude and perspective about life and how you see it is in your control! You can choose to see the bright side even in tough situations. Most days are filled with opportunities for a good laugh; it’s up to you to be receptive.
Vision: Few things in life produce more internal energy than knowing that what you’re doing truly matters. When you are on purpose and in passionate pursuit of a vision, you generate tremendous amounts of energy for your mind, soul and body. I serve as the executive pastor at 12Stone® Church and the vision has me so fired-up I can hardly stand it!
What’s interesting about this short list is that none of them include a nap or caffeine!
So, how are you doing with your energy levels? Need more? Try these! Are you doing well with energy? Then please leave a comment on what works best for you, especially if it’s something not on this list!
Dan Reiland is executive pastor of 12Stone Church® in Lawrenceville, Ga., listed in Outreach Magazine as the No. 1 fastest-growing church in America in 2010. He has worked closely with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as vice president of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. His semi-monthly e-newsletter, The Pastor's Coach, is distributed to over 40,000 subscribers. Dan is the author ofAmplified Leadership, released in January 2012.