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Guest Writers

Leading Under Pressure (Part 3)

This is the third in a series of posts entitled “Leading Under Pressure” read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

To recap the previous posts:
1. Pressure is an inescapable reality of pastoral ministry.
2. There are only two ways of resolving ministry pressure: Decrease responsibility or increase resilience.
3. Learn to differentiate between pressure and stress
4. Learn to separate pressure from stress in your leadership

Here is the bottom line: To grow in resilience, we must learn to limit stress in our lives. The good news? Much of the stress we experience in our lives comes at our own hands;  it’s self-inflicted. This is the first type of stress we can work to reduce.

Below is a list of some types of self-inflicted stress. While reading, consider:

  1. You cannot resolve all these kinds of stress at once: start with one.
  2. This list is diagnostic, not prescriptive. I don’t offer solutions to each kind of stress on the list. Some are self-explanatory, while some require significant time/resources to work through.

1. Unnecessary emotional stress

  • Fear and worry
  • Anger and unforgiveness
  • Guilt and regret

2. Undisciplined time management stress

  • Procrastination
  • Disorganization
  • Distraction

3. Unrealistic expectation stress

  • Perfectionism
  • Short term view of success
  • Unwillingness to delegate

4. Underdeveloped maturity stress

  • Lack of established identity
  • Lack of purpose or direction
  • Lack of confidence in God
  • Too much confidence in self
  • Sin and sin management (hiding) 
  • Prayerlessness
  • Authority issues

5. Unhelpful relational stress

  • Ongoing relational conflict (Either at home or work)
  • People–pleasing
  • Lack of boundaries

In the final post of this series, I’ll be discussing how “soul anchors” can create resilience in the high pressure situations that exist around us (as opposed to self-inflicted stress, which exist inside us).

Miles has served the local church as a pastor and leader for 20 years, and has been at 12Stone Church (Lawrenceville, GA) since 2001. He previously grew a college ministry to a 500-student gathering, and started the Residency Program at 12Stone. As Pastor of Leadership Expansion, Miles develops leadership not only in his immediate church context, but also coaches pastors and church leaders across the country.
To read more writing by Miles Welch, visit his website here: http://mileswelch.com/