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Kara Powell: Sustainable leader care practices
Episode 2 / Feb 16, 2022
0:40 Youth leader voices
7:00 What are some things we can do to set ourselves up well for the long haul?
“I think a better way to set ourselves up for the long haul is to have a different way of measuring our fruitfulness. Jesus never talked about crossing items off a to-do list. What Jesus did talk about is loving God, loving our neighbors and loving ourselves.” - Kara Powell
9:25 What are some practices that can help us stay close to God?
“Reflect on when you feel closest to God and how you can get more of that time in your life.” - Kara Powell
Some ideas to stay close to God:
- Morning prayer
- Worship music
- Observe a Sabbath (“Pray and Play” as Eugene Peterson says).
11:25 What are some ideas for loving yourself?
“Creating rhythms that are sustainable, live as centered and as stress-free as possible. This has looked different in different stages of life.” - Kara Powell
Ideas for self-care:
- Track time and work a certain number of hours.
- Think of your days in 3 chunks (morning, afternoon, evening) and try most days to have one of those chunks when you’re not working.
- Have a hobby (something we do for fun, not because it’s productive).
13:32 Can you talk about the importance of staying connected to those relationships that bring us joy?
Have people who know you as your first name (who care about you and not just about your job).
15:57 What is something practical a youth leader can do this week to help support themselves longterm in the work and life of youth ministry?
“We harm ourselves when we compare ourselves (our accomplishments, fruit, ministries, schedules) to others.” - Kara Powell
“What is the pace that God has made for you to walk in?” - Chap Clark
Our pace and rhythms won’t be the same as other leaders, and that’s okay.
17:48 What still resonates and what has changed over the past few years?
20:28 A personal look at a stat from October 2021, Barna data shows that about 38% of pastors have considered quitting in the past year.
“For everyone who’s wondering, am I still called to this job? First off, please do prayerfully discern that question, ideally in a supportive community. But if you think you’re called to stay, then ask what needs to change.” - Kara Powell
23:40 A practical way to take care of yourself: Are you getting enough sleep? Is there a way I can try to get a little bit more sleep?
25:30 A story about the importance of empathy with our students, and how recent research has shown the value of apologizing when we mess up.
29:43 Was there a time when something that has worked for you in the past really well required a change?
Ideas for prayer practices:
- Prayer walks, bringing notes if needed. Pick a topic to pray for on each block.
- Create a prayer room or “space” to pray in the same place.
- Prompt prayers through listening to music, going on walks, praying through scripture.
34:32 3 ideas for loving self or others
Working out at the end of the workday & using incentives (watching a show) if helpful. (Atomic Habits, “Make a habit appealing”)
Embrace creativity by learning a new skill (especially if you can learn from another person).
Writing notes to friends can unlock gratitude and connection.
34:32 “One of the skills that we teach at Fuller when it comes to servanthood and leadership is agility, how do we stay on our toes and respond?
I think that's true, not just with how we love and serve young people, but how we love ourselves too. So may God, continue to give each of us wisdom to know the ways we need to take care of ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our souls and spirits, um, today, because it might look different than yesterday.” - Kara Powell
39:43 Story from a youth leader about the importance of staying connected to other interests even when youth ministry is a primary calling.
Mentioned in this episode:
Article: Barna: 38% of Pastors Have Thought About Quitting Full-Time Ministry in the Past Year
Podcast: The FYI on Youth Ministry Season 1 Episode 1
Book: 3 Big Questions that Change Every Teenager
Video: Eugene Peterson on Sabbath
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Related FYI resources:
Blog: 5 Practices to help you prioritize peace in the busiest time of year
Blog: Sustainable Practices