How are you Feeling?

 —  September 3, 2014 — Leave a comment

7812924Some days, I could care less.

Other days, I couldn’t care more.

It doesn’t matter what the topic is… there are days when my feelings get bullied by my logic, and other days when my emotions want to rule my life.

How are you feeling?

It’s the question that you are either ask too much or ask too little. Why is that?

In his book “The Emotionally Healthy Church Planter,” Pete Scazzero masterfully points out that ministry can overload our emotions, between the harsh realities we walk through to the celebrations we’d never have imagined we’d be a part of. The challenge is that spiritual health and emotional health are different, even though they overlap.

Emotional health concerns itself with:

  • naming/recognizing/managing our own feelings
  • identifying and having active compassion for others
  • initiating and maintaining close and meaningful relationships
  • breaking free from self-destructive patterns
  • being aware of how our past impacts our present
  • developing the capacity to clearly express our thoughts and feelings
  • respecting and loving others without having to change them
  • clearly, directly, and respectfully asking for what we need, want, or prefer
  • accurately assessing our own strengths, limits, and weaknesses, and freely sharing them with others
  • developing the capacity to maturely resolve conflicts • distinguishing and appropriately expressing our sexuality and sensuality
  • grieving well

Focusing on spiritual health tends to take a different approach:

  • awakening and surrendering to God’s love in every situation
  • positioning ourselves to hear God and remember His presence in all we do
  • communing with God, allowing Him to fully dwell in the depth of our being
  • practicing silence, solitude, and a life of unceasing prayer
  • attentively resting in the presence of God
  • understanding that the goal of life is a loving union with Jesus
  • finding the true essence of who we are in God
  • loving others out of a life of love for God
  • developing a rhythm of life that enables us to remember God
  • adapting and using historic practices of spirituality that are applicable today
  • living in a committed community that passionately loves Jesus

(Thanks again to Pete Scazzero for that compilation)

identify feelingsI was reading this and wondering how well I do at integrating the two versus focusing on one more than the other. I’m not sure I have a magic formula to offer you, as much as I wanted to raise the question with you. I get the sense I’m not the only one out there who feels up and down, sometimes without knowing why.

What if that’s why Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God…

with all your heart…
AND, with all your soul…
AND, with all your mind…
AND, with all your strength?

Not doing this creates the tension that Eric Samuel Timm addresses in “Static Jedi”Life feels like a dangerous place when we are stripped of our ability to hear God clearly.

How are you feeling?

Thoughts?

We’ve done volunteer meetings lots of different ways from in person , to online, over Facebook™ but there is something about meeting face to face that is my favorite by far. When we meet with our team here is are some core values around our time meeting together.

Consistency: Commit to meeting regularly that that you can keep tabs on how your leaders are and what God is doing in their groups. Consistency is key to having leaders committing to be a part the meetings.

Prepared: Our volunteers give up a lot of time as it is, so when we ask them to come to an extra meeting, you better believe we are going to be prepared for it. I have heard of groups that send out an agenda with questions before hand so that any leader that misses the meeting can still provide feedback.

Eat Together: There is something awesome about breaking bread together and enjoying a meal with your team. We make a point to grill up some steaks with our volunteers. Our hope is that it conveys a small part of our appreciation for what they do.

Learn Together: Whether a training video, or some sort of short lesson leadership, having our whole team together is a great opportunity to learn to lead better together.

Discuss, pray: A part of every meeting is a chance to discuss issues and utilize the collective experience of the group for dealing with issues that students are dealing with. Every meeting also has a time where we can pray for one another as well our students and seek the Lord for guidance and protection for our team.

Hand out the calendar/resources: Each meeting we try and make sure that our team leaves with the tools they need to lead in the next coming weeks as well as an idea of what is coming down the pipe so they are not caught off guard by an event or change of program.

Value Their Time: The meetings are not longer than they need to be, as we know that our volunteers have family, friends and homework to take care of. We value their time that they give and take only what we need to have an effective meeting.

JG



Loved Doug Fields’ blog post the other day about valuing people. Here’s a little clip of his complete thought – this is something that every youth worker has to work to master when working with a team of volunteers. Good stuff:

2. Give feedback
As a leader, your constructive feedback is vital to an individual feeling valued. Most followers are desperate for validation and they want to be recognized for their contribution. They’ll follow, work and give their heart if they feel like they’re following someone who cares enough about them to give them feedback about their contribution. When you take the time to give specific feedback (even if it’s occasional negative/constructive), you are adding to their personal sense of value. It’s not unusual for a person to work for, serve, volunteer years of service and not get any specific and personal feedback from their “boss”…it’s not unusual, but it’s definitely tragic.

3. Affirm, affirm, affirm
This should go without saying, and unfortunately, many times it does. I know leaders will say, “He knows he’s important to me.” Really? When was the last time you told him? It ought to be often! This is such a basic principle that it’s almost embarrassing to write, but I find it so rare in leaders that it’s worth mentioning and repeating.

JG