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It’s easy to lose ourselves in the midst of leading in ministry. Maybe it’s the pace or maybe the pressure but many times we forget who we are called to be while we lead those around us. When we forget who we are we also tend to disconnect from relationships of significance. When your identity get’s wrapped in ministry progress that is where you will focus most of your attention. Your ministry becomes who you are and in the end that will only leave you empty because the applause of the crowd and the congregation is fleeting and unstable.

You can be a great leader and be relationally empty and shallow.

When ministry defines who we are we tend to isolate ourselves from the relationships that matter most. God uses significant relationships to keep us connected to reality. It’s through relationships that God reminds us who is really in control. Here are 7 relationships that are more important to the health of your soul than the ministry you lead. I feel no need to explain why these are critically important so I am just going to list 7 that I know matter more than my pursuit of ministry excellence…

  1. Your relationship with Jesus.

  2. Your relationship with your spouse.

  3. Your relationship with your kids.

  4. Your relationship with real friends. (men and women who know the real you)

  5. Your relationship with a mentor.

  6. Your relationship with your team. (the staff you serve with)

  7. Your relationship with your community group. (however your church fosters community)

Chances are if you don’t value these relationships more than the ministry you lead you will find yourself not leading any ministry because you will shipwreck your soul in isolation. It’s in the middle of significant relationships that God shapes our soul to look more like Jesus. That may not be the same thing as being the “best leader” or the “best pastor” but it will allow you to honor Christ at the end of the day.