The Power of Full Engagement

I actually read this book in 2016. It was one of the books I chose to read during my short-term sabbatical. My One Word for 2016 was Energize. I chose the word because I wanted to improve my own physical and spiritual energy levels, and I also wanted to energize others such as the church. … Read more

Sabbatical Reflections

My last post shared hopes and plans for our summer sabbatical. We are grateful to God and to our congregations for the gift of this time! Sabbaticals are often called “renewal leaves.” And, this time was certainly important for our renewal both as pastors and as followers of Jesus! During our sabbatical, our main goal … Read more

Sabbatical Growth Plan

As I shared recently, Joleen and I are both taking a short-term sabbatical (one month, plus two weeks of vacation). We’re seeking physical and spiritual renewal and growth in ministry leadership. Physical & Spiritual Renewal Spiritual health is vitally important. Lance Witt, in his book, Replenish (see my post), argues, “We have neglected the fact … Read more

Short-Term Sabbatical

United Methodist pastors are encouraged to take sabbaticals on a regular basis. Our conference allows for one-month sabbaticals once every four years (longer sabbaticals are available, a little less frequently). This will be our first sabbatical since beginning ministry in the UMC in 1998. The appropriate committees from both Centre Grove UMC and West Side … Read more

“Replenish”

Two years ago, I started reading Replenish by Lance Witt after a season of experiencing a lot of stress. There’s a lot of helpful content in this fairly short book. The book is divided into 41 short chapters. It’s impossible to cover it all, but here are some of my favorite highlights. Witt cautions about the … Read more

Your Energy Level Matters

I’ve always been a fairly high-energy person. But in the last couple of years, my energy level has suffered, ever since my “wake-up call” (elevated heart rate over the course of several months). I wrote a little about it in 3 Steps I’m Taking to Manage Stress Better. While I’m mostly recovered from that experience, … Read more

“What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend”

Laura Vanderkam has written a series of short books focusing on “what the most successful people do.” Yesterday, I wrote about the first book in the series (“What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”). The second book focuses on non-workdays: What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend. Now, weekends in our home … Read more

How Much Sleep Do You Get?

In recent months, I’ve been trying to improve my sleep. I just read an article by Tony Schwartz, Sleep is More Important Than Food, which is challenging me to be even more intentional. For most of my life, I’ve taken sleep for granted. When I was a kid, I thought sleep was a waste of … Read more

I Am Not Invincible!

When I hit the wall several months ago, I remember reminding myself during a time of prayer, “I’m not invincible.” At the time, I was pushing it pretty hard, physically (doing 30,000 steps/day as part of a 21-day national Virgin HealthMiles challenge). And, basically, I had been living on adrenaline, because that’s the only way … Read more

4 Practices of Sustainable Leadership

Recently, I read two articles on the Harvard Business Review blog: Fatigue Is Your Enemy and Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. Tony Schwartz writes … Two years ago, I began hearing the phrase ‘It isn’t sustainable’ over and over from senior executives. They were talking about the everyday demands at work. The day of … Read more