2 WAYS LEADERS REDUCE STRESS & INCREASE EFFECTIVENESS
How can you reduce your stress and increase your effectiveness in ministry? Practice these two habits: Number one,
sharpen your skills. Take the time to hone your skills. Get better at the things you do. And number two, sharpen
their skills. Invest in the skill development of the team around you. When you increase their effectiveness, your
Sharpen Your Skills
Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring
success.” If you have a dull ax and you’re chopping wood, it takes more energy, but if you have a sharp axe, it
doesn’t take as much energy. So, work smarter, not harder. People say, “hard work brings success.” We all know lots
of people who work hard, but aren’t successful. Why? It’s because they’re forcing it. Skill is the lubricant of
success. Strengthen your talent, practice your craft, hone your skills and stop trying to wing it all the time.
As the leader, you need to sharpen your skills to be a better leader. The way a leader acquires new skills and
sharpens existing ones is by learning. All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.
The moment you, as a pastor, stop growing, your church will stop growing. You must always be developing, growing
and becoming what God wants you to be.
Here are three things you can do as a learner to help reduce your stress and increase your effectiveness.
Read something. Take the time to pick up a great book, magazine or article that would help you get more from a
skill you need to develop.
Register for a conference. There’s a ton of conferences out there, pick one that you go to just for your
development, not for your teams’ inspiration.
Reach out to someone. Take a risk. Write, text, call or DM someone who you think is good at what they do and
talk to them. Great leaders love investing in other leaders, they’ll consider it a complement.
Sharpen Their Skills
When you sharpen the skills of a team, you multiply your effectiveness. Jesus sharpened the skills of his
followers by teaching them daily. The gospels give account of Jesus’ investment in his followers and his disciples.
In Luke 4:15, we see that Jesus “taught regularly in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.”
That ‘regular’ teaching changed the lives of some ordinary fisherman and turned them into an effective team of
apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists. Jesus was investing the most time in those who would eventually carry
the greatest burden of leadership in the mission of the gospel. He knew that his investment would reap a great harvest.
Do you make time to train your team? Do you ‘regularly’ talk about the mission, share the vision, teach your values
and sharpen their skills? If you’re not and you’re wondering how to do that, here’s an idea: set aside time in your
staff meeting to train them. Before you get into the meeting, teach them ‘how-to’ do ministry at your church. If you
need some practical training material, click here for a place to get started.
John Maxwell once said, “When the team you have doesn’t match up to the team of your dreams, you have only two choices:
Give up your dream, or grow up your team.” Do yourself a favor, train your people, invest time in them, help them
sharpen and hone their skills.
Here are three things you can encourage your team to do as learners to reduce their stress and increase their
Throughout human history, whatever the endeavor, great individuals always had teams of people supporting them along
the way. Great teams with sharp skills can accomplish great things for God. Get a start today on growing yourself
and your team by sharpening your skills and theirs. Their ability to handle more will take a load off you and
reduce your stress.
Read something. Here’s a great resource and encouragement for your staff.
Register them for a conference. If you have an assistant, someone who directly contributes to your personal
effectiveness, sign them up for this conference. It’s a great investment!
Reach out to someone. Encourage your staff to reach out to other staff in churches who are where you want to be
and learn from them.