4 Steps To Improved Leadership In The New Year


This New Year’s Eve, over a billion people will tune in as the ball drops in Times Square and we all say “farewell” to the past year and “hello” to the next. One of my family's traditions is to gather around our family room with friends and reflect on what we have to be thankful for in the past year, and then we tell one word of what we would like to focus on for the New Year. My word for this upcoming year is “healthy.” Not just “healthy” in a physical way, but healthy as a husband, a dad, a leader, and even as a follower of Christ.

Over the next few weeks as I prepare for the new year, I will begin to put some details to that word to help me be healthier in the New Year. Here are some tips for church and ministry leaders to make sure we all grow healthier in our leadership during this next year:

1. Reflect

Look at the past year and reflect on your growth. How have you grown as a follower of Jesus, a husband/wife, a dad/mom, and as a leader? How have you been intentional in your health in these different areas? Write down a list of the areas you have seen some obvious growth, and then list some areas in which you need to grow.

2. Plan

If we are going to be healthy, there must be a plan. For example, as a husband, I want to be intentional on planning a date night with my wife each month. And as a dad, I plan on taking “tech-no breaks” where I devote my total attention to my children. “Tech-no breaks” are set times where we all take a break from technology - a great practice for church leaders to make a routine in their families.

I spend much of my time talking with families who don’t know one another because they have not been experiencing meaningful communication with one another. As a leader, I have been challenged to think about three words: new, simple, and creative. These words have given me focus in my area of leadership. Read more, create more, simplify more, and gain insights and input from new leaders and blogs that you would normally not follow. Find a few words to help guide you as you launch into a new season and a new year. Be intentional with a plan.

3. Connect

Make sure you are connected with other leaders. Not leaders who drain you, but leaders who inspire you. Sit with your team and dream again. Never get to a place of isolation as a leader. God truly did create us for relationships with others.

To be healthy, we must be connected with other people. Tweet: To be healthy, we must be connected with other people. http://ctt.ec/rKe32+ via @VanderbloemenSG

Be a part of a Small Group, a leadership network, or an online leadership community, and make sure you have a mentor that you respect and you can learn from this year. Get connected and stay connected.

4. Live

Many times leaders forget to live - especially church leaders! Spend time outside of your leadership responsibilities and have fun! If you do not have a hobby, get one. A few of my favorite things to do are to explore new places and experience new adventures, whether it is hiking or driving. New places give me a new perspective, and it always clears my head and keeps me "healthy."

Also, spend time with unchurched people. It's easy for church leaders to be so devoted to their congregation that they forget this. It gives you a different perspective on what others really think about the church. Our family intentionally spends time with several families that are unbelievers. It has been great to see a couple of those families come to church with us for the very first time. Find some people (maybe your next door neighbor) that you can love in the New Year.

I have no idea what adventure God has for me in the new year, but I truly want to be used by God to impact the world where He has placed me. My verse for this new year is Ephesians 3:20: Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or even think.

Praying that you have a wonderful new year and that you and I will embrace His adventure and live in a healthy way!

Which of these steps can you begin to adopt this coming week?

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