Leaders are doers, movers, and shakers. But if that’s all they are, their efforts can amount to shadowboxing. Thankfully, God has a one-two punch that’s powerfully effective and worth learning.

It was our monthly retreat to plan state-wide initiatives. Given the scope of our outreach, we could’ve felt the pressure and packed our agenda. But since God was carrying the load and designed us for relationship, that’s where we started. We took our time honoring Him through worship, Scripture, and prayer. And then we honored one another. We listened and prayed, as each person shared their latest challenge. With hearts alive in God and soft toward one another, we delved into discernment and decision-making.

By the end of the day, our relationships were deeper and our mission was advanced. One woman observed, “This feels like a support group.” Someone else added, “Yes, the best kind—a support group with purpose.” Combine authentic relationships with kingdom purpose, and you have a powerful one-two punch.

“Combine authentic relationships with kingdom purpose, and you have a powerful one-two punch.”

- Lisa Hosler

Remember C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters, that gives voice to the enemy’s devious plans? If Satan was scheming against ministry leaders—and he is—it would sound something like this:

Satan’s Diabolical Schemes Against Leaders

1. “Let’s make them think they’re at their best when they’re super busy.”

2. “Yes, and let’s use that load of busyness to short circuit their devotion to God.”

3. “Perfect! Let’s take it a step further and keep them self-protective and reluctant to open up to their brothers and sisters in Christ.”

4. “Hahaha! That’s brilliant. We’ll keep them from the two sources of greatest help—their Lord and the so-called body of Christ.”

5. “Right! So busyness is their king, and they’re operating solo—apart from their real King and their brothers and sisters.”

6. “Sounds like they’ll be doing a lot of shadowboxing!”

7. “You gotta love it!”

As Christian leaders, we have the Spirit of Truth to combat the enemy’s lies:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…

and, love your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10:27 (NIV)

Share each other’s burdens…

Galatians 6:2 (NLT)

Two are better than one,

because they have a good reward for their toil.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 (ESV)

…standing firm in one spirit,

with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.

Philippians 1:27 (ESV)

For we are God's fellow workers.

1 Corinthians 3:9 (ESV)

There is never a shortage of work in leadership. Because of that, it’s tempting to keep our noses to the grindstone. But leaders who do that lose their vitality and productivity. Let’s take God’s Word to heart. Let’s actively love Him and our co-laborers, and advance God’s kingdom together. In the process, the enemy will be on the receiving end of God’s one-two punch.

How do you reconcile incessant busyness with God’s invitation for relationship? Please share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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