Leading yourself well

by Karen Blanchard

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI – My husband is a pastor and we have been in ministry our entire relationship. Since he was already on staff at a church when we started dating, our relationship hasn’t known anything else. If you know anything about ministry, you know it isn’t a Monday to Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm job. There are many demands that come along with ministry and it can be very draining.

For the majority or our ministry, we didn’t establish great boundaries. We were constantly giving of ourselves and our time, which finally caught up to me several years ago. God began to show me how out of balance we were, and He also convicted me about how I replaced “being with Jesus” with “doing for Jesus.” These two things are not the same. Since I was so busy with ministry and not prioritizing time for my relationship with Jesus, my other relationships began to suffer. Oftentimes, God allows us to hit a point of frustration, to wake us up and see the need for a change.

Before we can ever lead others, we first have to learn how to lead ourselves.

One way I learned how to lead myself well was by learning to choose my “best yes.” Early in ministry, I didn’t know how to say “no” to things; consequently, I would say “yes” to everything. Somewhere along the line I bought into the lie that the more I “do” for Jesus, the better I would look in his eyes. I learned that I could say yes to a lot of things, but I couldn’t do a lot of things well.

I love this quote by Lysa TerKeurst:

“A person who lives with an overwhelmed schedule will ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

I now pray and ask God to remove the things in my life that he never intended for me to do. I only want to say yes to my “best yes” and do that thing well!

Another way I have learned to lead myself well is to implement a Sabbath during my week. My Sabbath is the day of the week I live for. On this day, I give myself time to linger longer with the Lord. I am not rushed to get things done for ministry or for my personal life. It is the time I can sit at the feet of Jesus and feed my soul. When I do this, I am able to drink from the living water that Jesus provides; and then out of that water, I can overflow into the lives of others. When we fill ourselves up with Jesus, we can then give Jesus to others.

In John 15:4 Jesus says:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”

Our ministry should not replace our time with God; instead, it is from our time with God we get what we need to minister to others.

Peter Scazzero, author of The Emotionally Healthy Leader says:

“You cannot give what you do not possess. What you do is important, but who you are is even more important. The state you are in is the state you give to others.”

Serving God doesn’t mean you have to run yourself into the ground in exhaustion by doing all things! Pray and ask God to show you exactly where he wants you to minister. Then live that out after you have taken time to sit at his feet and are overflowing with his Spirit.

These verses are great to meditate on when praying and asking God for endurance to run the race well while leading people to walk closer with Him.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. - Colossians 1:10-12

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9

We can lead others well when we first lead ourselves well.



Karen is married to Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church, and moved from Florida to Michigan in the summer of 2009 to plant Lakepointe Church in Shelby Township. She enjoys mentoring and discipling women and also leads women’s life groups through her church. She is passionate about helping women find their purpose in who God created them to be. She is on staff at Lakepointe Church and loves being part of what God is doing in the Metro Detroit area!



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