As a Leader, What Are You Worrying About?

Leaders need to concern themselves about the important things.
Leaders need to concern themselves about the important things. (Flickr )

Leaders worry about stuff. We just do.

I don't mean that wring-your-hands, fretting and get-sick-to-your stomach kind of worry. But that kind of natural focused concern about things you care about.

Like we "worry" about our kids. Parents care, we just do. We want our kids to be safe, healthy and make good decisions. That's normal but not necessarily the best use of our emotional energy and spiritual capacity.

The bottom line is that worry isn't helpful or productive, and it rarely changes anything.

There are common worries leaders experience like:

  • Worry about what other people think.
  • Worry about what we can't control.
  • Worry about finances.
  • Worry about church growth.
  • Worry about opposition or a confrontation.

Corrie ten Boom said: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." That is such good wisdom!

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In a leadership talk, John Maxwell asked the question, "Why worry?" Here's what he said:

  • 40 percent will never happen.
  • 30 percent concerns old decisions that cannot be changed.
  • 12 percent centers upon criticisms made by people who feel inferior.
  • 10 percent is related to my health, which worsens when I worry.
  • 8 percent is legitimate, which can be met head on when I have eliminated senseless worries.

That's the beginning to winning over worry. Don't let worry eat your lunch! Focus on what you can do something about. This leads us to the first step to remedy worry.

Take Action

If there is nothing you can do about it, let it go. I mean, really, let it go. Stop losing sleep over it.

For that small percent of legitimate concerns, do something. Take action! Such as:

  • Pick up the phone.
  • Make a decision.
  • Have the conversation.
  • Get some help.

Conquering worry is not easy, but it is simple. Either take action, or let it go.

Jesus said:

"Therefore, I say to you, take no thought about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they do not sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Who among you by taking thought can add a cubit to his stature? Why take thought about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: They neither work, nor do they spin. Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is here and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (For the Gentiles seek after all these things.) For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things" (Matt. 6:25-32, MEV).

Trust God

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you. Therefore, take no thought about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought about the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the trouble thereof" (Matt. 6:33-34, MEV).

When we trust God, we increase our faith. The devil loves to make us doubt. We are drawn to people of great faith because they offer hope. People will always follow a leader with great faith who offers hope over one who worries.

Get Some Rest

Sometimes we overcomplicate things. We can overthink stuff and become exhausted.

You might just need to take a break. Get some rest. This is a powerful tool to change your perspective. Remember, "When you have done all you can do, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." – Victor Hugo

Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered 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.

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