Promoting Balanced Lives in your Team

June 18, 2012

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Half of American workers hate their jobs! That is shocking!

I believe we can improve the enjoyment of our teams by promoting balanced lives coupled with creating a team environment and being concerned with their growth.

Too often workers dislike their jobs because the road to success come through overworking. Workers need to be challenged and pushed, but not run over.

In her book, The Overworked American, Juliet Schor estimates we have 1/3 less leisure time, sleep 90 minutes less per night than needed, and find less time for raising our kids and our marriages.

We saw this in action when some of our Bible school staff walked around like zombies. No student wanted to join staff, living a life similar to what they saw modeled. Your current workers enjoyment communicates a lot to future employees.

While never enjoying every element of our jobs, we should have a basic satisfaction.

You will not attract people to your team or department if people hate their jobs.

Especially in ministry!

balance

I know many in ministry who work insane hours since the work is never done. The pastoral issues never stop, the needs of a community are always there, and of course there will never be a shortage of people who need to hear the gospel.

I have been this person. I burnt the candle at both ends. I managed for a season, but ended up in burnout and dissatisfaction.

I want to be in ministry for my life. Anyone can do it for a season, but to maintain for a lifetime; balance or pacing is necessary. This is the culture I want in my team.

We encourage a balanced lifestyle in our team. I realize balance is elusive, an endless pursuit with constant tweaking, but the net gain is the goal we seek.

Many missionaries start fast and fade. We desire well rounded, continual learners, engaged for the long term not merely the sprint.

Here are several areas of life we encourage balance in:
Rest  – There is a reason this is in the Ten Commandments! Read more about rest in Slow Down, to Speed Up.

Exercise – Church culture can often be the worst for promoting poor health, but this is essential should you desire a long career (and life!)

Outside interests – your job should not be your entire life

God  – in ministry your walk with God and your job can become difficult to separate. Long term health requires that this be done.

You can’t fix all areas at once or have perfect balance. That will only happen in heaven!

Choose one.

Focus on “balance” in one area that is currently neglected. Do this personally. If you are leading a team, I also challenge you to assess the corporate state of balance in your group.

Which area of your life do you want to focus on now? Which area is neglected that needs a bit of extra attention for the sake of your long term health and happiness.

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God