1. Be spiritually disciplined.
I rarely ever train leaders without seeking to impress upon them that the very best leadership tool they can acquire is a daily and ongoing walk with Christ. Time daily in the Word and in prayer, as well as listening to what God is telling you are absolutely essential. Plan for it, and make it non-negotiable. (Luke 2:52: And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.)
2. Pray for the day ahead.
Ask God to show you what you should seek to accomplish and what should be left for another time, if at all. Ask for sensitivity for each encounter you will have. Watch for the Holy Spirit’s movement and look for unexpected opportunities from Him throughout the day. (Jesus prayed before making big decisions. Luke 6:12: During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.)
3. Be physically disciplined.
The Boomer generation to which I belong has found ways to stay healthy much longer than our grandparents did. We have access to more health information than ever before and we have NO excuse for not exercising regularly. Your physical strength and well being will impact your mental and emotional well being!
4. Make appointments for teaching preparation.
Whether you are leading a team or small group or speaking at a large event for women, you need time to bathe what God has laid on your heart in prayer. Know how long it will take you to research and teach on a topic and plan that time like a calendar appointment.
5. Determine one to three priorities you will accomplish for the day.
What do you believe God has shown you to be the major tasks for your day? Does that mean you need to eliminate something from your list you previously placed on it?
6. Get sufficient sleep.
I hate to even talk about this one because I have to answer the same question: How much sleep do you get a night? Not all of us need the same amount. Know what it takes to run on all engines and seek to get at least that much nightly.
7. Make appointments on your calendar for strategic vision.
This one may also be a challenge. But occasional time set aside to look at the big picture and see where you are in the process of achieving the vision God has placed on your heart and in your mind will help you determine the best use of your time.
8. Laugh and have fun.
Life is just hard. Harder at some times than others. Watch for ways you can lighten up and laugh with those around you. Be a catalyst for joy and watch others follow!
9. Have a right attitude.
The people you work with will often affect your attitude — for better or worse! Find a way to “rejoice always” (Phil 4:4) as we are encouraged to do, and focus on what’s right more than what is not.
10. Work hard; rest intentionally.
If you tend to be a workaholic, make one of the items on your agenda to also stop working. My mind rarely shuts down, so for me I have to do puzzles or games or read Christian fiction to relax my “work” mind and rest.
I wish I could tell you I do all ten things really well, but that wouldn’t be honest. These are a struggle for me as they probably are for you. But taking time to read though this list occasionally may remind you of things you might need to work on! We want to serve Christ as long and as effectively as possible — as long as we have breath. We will need to plan for that!
What else would you add to this list?
Chris Adams is senior lead women’s ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.