My job is confusing sometimes. Officially, I am the Pastor of Creative Arts. But frankly, I made up my own title, and so sometimes it’s been Director of Worship Arts. Or Arts Team Leader. Or Worship Leader.
Sometimes I feel like Resident Grouchy Person. At times, I’ve claimed the role of Person Most Likely To Make The Pastor Crazy. Sometimes I am Staff Member Most Likely To Cry In A Meeting. Other times, Person Who Sings In The Hallway.
My job is to make music, and lead worship, and organize and help and train others, and counsel people, and get people connected, and help develop strategy, and write dramas, and write songs, and sometimes preach, and be on call, and listen, and move chairs, and reach people, and help them become, and lead devotionals, and edit video, and edit messages, and….well, that’s all I can think of right now. There are so many things that we want to do, so much that must be done; it all runs together.
And here’s the thing: we work in a rapidly growing church and I find myself needing to function at a level of management and administration and leadership that is way beyond my schooling and experience. I never thought – never planned – never aimed to be in leadership at an organization of 1500+ people. There have been times during the past 9 months that I have felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. It’s not just that there’s a lot to do – it’s that it’s hard to know what not to do, because everything needs to be done. It’s hard to say “no” and create a “stop-doing” list when you are well aware of the impact on those around you who will have to catch the things you drop.
It’s been a tough season. It’s been hard to know what to do; it feels like a major identity crisis. And in the midst of it, people have gotten hurt. And that wrecks me.
Most every day of the past six months, I woke up anxious. That leads to paralysis. And I don’t know what to do about it.
And so I asked for input, and I got it. It was a little scary, and it felt awkward. “Hi! If you don’t mind, tell me what you think about me! Okay, then! Thanks!”
But I really felt it was necessary. I’d lost perspective. I needed help.
Here’s what I have learned: First of all, I keep trying to do too much. Secondly, I keep trying to do too much while neglecting the fact that in order to be a spiritual leader, one must have a healthy spiritual life. Which one cannot have if one is too busy to invest time and energy into a healthy spiritual life.
Thirdly, I don’t like being in a bad mood every day. Fourthly (is that a word?), waking up anxious every day feels sort of like a heart attack, which might well be a natural result of too much stress and too little exercise and the utilization of Ben & Jerry’s as a primary source of stress relief.
I don’t want to have a heart attack.
I got great, honest feedback from folks who aren’t afraid to tell me the truth. Some of it really made me feel good. Other parts – ouch. But all of it served to give me perspective. Which I need.
I’m grateful to those who took the time to tell me what they see. It’s a reality check. And quite helpful.
Have you ever asked those around you for a reality check?