Tired, sleep-deprived, and worn out.
That’s an odd way to begin a post called “Re-energized!” But while annual conference is physically tiring (and not just annual conference, but annual conference with a baby for the first time), it is still very energizing, spiritually and missionally!
Of course, while spending hours together with a community of Christ-followers in worship and worshipful work is always impacting and re-energizing, it is also a time to refocus on the mission — the main thing, why we do what we do.
Everyone, including leaders, need these kinds of times renewal and refocusing. Leading on the front lines of the mission is challenging. In every organization, including churches, there are strong forces at work to simply maintain the status quo (or go back to the way things were at some point in the past), to take the easy road, or to seek the comfortable way.
The temptation for leaders is to grow weary of the journey of leading people in mission and to allow these forces to inhibit them from fulfilling their God-given task. Leadership *always* involves challenging the process (to use the language of Kouzes and Posner in their landmark book, The Leadership Challenge). It’s certainly not for the fainthearted!
But we all get tired. We all battle doubt and despair, at times. We must regularly find ways to fan the flames, to stir the passion, and to keep moving forward. For us, annual conference is one of the ways that keeps us focused, encouraging us to stay the course, and to lead with courage.
These times of renewal serve as reminders that this is ultimately God’s work. God always gives us the equipment we need for us to complete the work he’s given us. The journey is never easy, but because of God’s power and presence, it is always do-able!
BTW, Ethan did well today, his third/final day of annual conference. He was obviously tired, though. We are grateful for Jean, our district superintendent’s (Dave Norris) wife, who cared for Ethan during the closing ordination service in the afternoon. And, Ethan finally got a much-needed nice long nap during that time! 😎