Leader health is essential to the effectiveness and longevity of leaders. Health does not happen by accident, it takes intentionality. Health is also not easy. Below are three of the hard realities of leader health.
No one will guard your health for you
You have to be the guardian of your own health, especially if you work in a church or other ministry setting. Those you lead, no matter how much they care about you will not guard your health. Even your spouse and family, no matter how much they try can guard your health for you. Both your family and organization can be an asset or a detriment to your attempts to guard your own health, yet the responsibility for your own health lies with you. Leaders must intentionally and proactively guard their own health.
No one will set boundaries for you
This is especially true if you work in the church. Keep in mind that even Jesus took time away and set boundaries. God rested. You cannot be all things to all people, only Jesus can do that. Sometimes, as leaders, we need to remind ourselves that we are not the Christ. Boundaries are a critical part of love. As a father, I have boundaries with my children. Boundaries are a natural part of love. If you love God, love those you serve/lead and love yourself, you will set boundaries for your own health.
Many leaders have a need to be needed
One of the reasons that leaders do not guard their health or set healthy boundaries is because they develop a need to be needed. Ministry, especially church ministry attracts people who want to help others. There is no lack of need, in fact there will always be need. The encouragement and joy that comes from helping others can become an unhealthy addiction where leaders develop a need to be needed by others. When we start to believe that organizations or people cannot function without us, it is a sure sign that we may have crossed into this dangerous and unhealthy territory.