By Brian Moss
It’s summertime! Summer means so many different things to different people. For a leader, any TIME is a loan from God and therefore should be stewarded for God’s glory and our good. So how can you best use your summer as a leader? Three ways:
God created the entire universe to operate in cycles and seasons. The solar system has cycles. The weather has seasons, and our life was meant to operate with healthy rhythm. In our modern world we think maximize means to cram more into an already overloaded schedule. But in God’s order maximize means to harmonize. God never meant for us to go full throttle non-stop. He intentionally created periods of rest and even put it in the big ten (the Sabbath).
If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think.
God says slow down before you go down.
An unhealthy pace leads to unhealthy place.
Use the summer to actually schedule time to DO NOTHING AT ALL.
There’s a reason people usually say they’re “going” on vacation. It’s because we often use vacation to go somewhere new. There’s something about changing your location that often affects your situation. But don’t just use your vacation to go somewhere new geographically, use it to go somewhere new relationally.
When we get away from the distractions that constantly vie for our attention, we are able to give greater focus on our relationships. Somehow we grow closer when we go further.
Great relationships require continual investment.
Going away for a vacation should be more about taking your relationship to new heights than just seeing new sights.
Use the summer to get get apart before you fall apart.
The third way that leaders maximize their summer is by using down time for reading. All leaders are readers. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t really like reading, so I don’t do it.” That’s the same thing as saying, “I only do stuff I like.” That’s not a leader, that’s a whiner.
Leaders do the stuff others don’t so they can become the person most won’t.
Reading is a discipline, the same as prayer, Bible study, etc. To be a disciple means you are disciplined.
If we only do the things we feel like doing then we’re living like the world. The Bible says, “Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now.” (1 Peter 1:14, The Message)
The moment you stop learning, you stop leading. And I would add, the moment you stop reading, you stop leading.
We live in the Google age, where we are bombarded by soundbites. The problem with having so much data available so easily is that most of us can wade around in the shallow end of the information pool and never go more than an inch deep. We’ve lost the ability to think deeply on any given subject.
In order to grow more like God, you’re going to have to learn to think like God. “O Lord, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts.” (Psalm 92:5, NLT)
Reading takes us deeper.
Take some time and read through 2-3 books this summer.
Here are some books I’ve read so far this year:
- Serial Innovators by Larry Osbourne
- The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
- Who Is This Man? by John Ortberg
- Vital Signs by Tony Morgan
- Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman
- The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- Winning the Food Fight by Steve Willis
- Rise of the Nones by James Emery White
- Church Unique by Will Mancini
- A Leader’s Legacy by Kouzes & Posner
Pick a few books that will stretch your mind, expand your heart and deepen your thoughts.
This year, don’t just go through summer, grow through summer!
Brian Moss is senior pastor of Oak Ridge Baptist Church, Salisbury, Md