Monday, May 14, 2007

Shauna Hybels Niequist ... on the Leading Edge

Shauna Niequist served 8 years on staff at two of America's leading edge churches, Willow Creek and Mars Hill. I was recently privileged to sit in with Pastor Wes Dupin and the staff meeting Daybreak as Shauna talked about the challenge of making a life while working as a staff member at a church.

Shauna shared guiding ideas, warning signs and suggestions.

Guiding Idea #1 - Ministry is both really important and really difficult. The stakes are incredibly high and working with volunteers is a complex leadership task, both emotionally and spiritually draining.

Guiding Idea #2 - As a staff member, it is your responsibility to create your own work and life experience in which you can thrive. It's not your boss's job.

Warning Sign #1 - When people become problems. We are in the people development business. They are our highest value but when we see them as a nuisance, burdensome, annoying...we're not in a good place.

Wanring Sign #2 - When creativity becomes costly. If I'm in the right place (spiritually and emotionally), then the challenge of being creative is in itself inspiring. But, if I dread the thought of having to come up with or implement "one more big idea" ... then I'm in the wrong place (spiritually/emotionally or maybe even vocationally).

Suggestion #1 - Set clear boundaries and keep them. Honor our biblical boundaries (i.e. Sabbath, family) ... your ministry will benefit in the long run. Only check your office e-mail at your office and your office voice-mail while you're working. Structure debrief time with your spouse. Urgent does not always equal important.

Suggestion #2 - Figure out what you love to do obsessively outside of work and go do it. When Shauna was 13, her dad (Bill Hybells) took up sailboat racing. What is your hobby or passionate pursuit?

What are you doing to keep your edge?

By the way, Daybreak has a great conference coming up this week: FIZZ