The whole weekend was a learning experience, but it was also a growing and bonding experience with other leaders of the church.
In addition to the speakers there was amazing Worship by Elevation Worship. It was quite an experience overall and on the way home we stopped to eat and I tried octopus something I probably wouldn’t have done if not encouraged by a friend to try new things. A few days later I went out to eat with some friends and it was at an all you can eat sushi place. I’m not a sushi person and in general I’m not a seafood fan. This time same friend got me to try eel. While neither octopus or eel are something I’d order for myself I did learn two things in the past two weeks.
The first is even as a church leader you need to take time to recharge your batteries. There are different ways of recharging. First you need to spiritually recharge. It’s hard to be there for others when your spiritually starving. Daily prayer and Bible reading is essential, there are times you also need to allow others to pour into you. There is many ways this could happen be it someone praying for you, taking a class to further your education, or attending a conference.
It also helps to get away occasionally when you need to recharge. Wether you have a hobby that helps you unwind and/or an occasional night out with friends or family. It’s necessary to have personal time.
Thehe second thing is there are times you have to step outside your comfort zone. For the Collyde conference I knew it would be 2 hour+ car ride each way. I’m not a fan of long car rides but I knew it would be worth it. My reward for stepping out of my comfort zone was an amazing weekend with great friends and an awesome conference.
Other times you have to step out of your comfort zone not knowing if there will be rewarded. For instance trying new foods, you might end up really enjoying it or you might never try it again but at least you tried it. Keeping an open mind on simple things leads to the ability to keep an open mind on larger things.
Therere will also be times where you have to step out of your comfort zone knowing that not only will there not be an immediate reward there will most likely be backlash. The plus side to these times is that in the long run the reward is greater and more fulfilling as it is usually an emotional and spiritual reward.
We must continue to grow by taking new learning opportunities and pushing our personal limits by stepping out of our comfort zone. We must also keep ourselves recharged by having God time, family time and me time. The balance is the tricky part.
I once considered myself a loner, and even an outcast. The ridiculous thing is I hung out with a group of outcasts and loners. This was my gang, my posse, my squad or whatever the hip kids are calling it now a days. More importantly we were a team. We knew each others strengths and weaknesses and how to work around them. Were we saving the world or promoting a great cause? No, we were mainly just watching terrible movies and eating junk food, but we knew exactly how to make it happen.
In the Summer of 2014 I’d been married less than a year, had a three year old son and we’d just moved into our first apartment together after previously living with Liz’s father. Also that Summer the company that I had worked for the past two years was bought out and by that Fall my office was shut down and I was laid off. I would be unemployed for about a year and a lot would happen in that time.