One would think that because I work within a church that I would be surrounded by Jesus and spend countless hours with Him. One would think that I have my life together and that everything is great most or all of the time. Well, I have to admit, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Like everything else, it can be so easy to get caught up in the “to-dos” of both home and ministry life. As a result, we can so easily forget about our relationships with others and our most important relationship of all, with our Heavenly Father.
Now more than ever, as a leader in ministry, it is critical that I be intentional about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. The busyness of this Christmas season has been an important reminder that I need to pause…breathe…seek God...and be still. So here is my “don’t do” list and my rewritten “to-do” list.
- I am NOT going to worry: Philippians 4:6-7 reads “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
- I will NOT try to be like everyone else who appears to have it all together, because the reality is, they don’t. Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- I WILL carve out time to be with my Heavenly Father each and every day. Matthew 6:33 reads, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
- I WILL acknowledge that these seasons of feeling overwhelmed ebb and flow and are only temporary, as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
- I WILL fix my eyes on Jesus. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I will take a moment, be still, take a breath and say a heartfelt prayer to the One who is Peace.
As a leader it is important to be authentic and real. It’s okay to acknowledge that we don’t always have it together. For those we lead, what a gift it is for them to see that! I absolutely love that one of our core values of Next Level Church is that “It’s okay to not be okay.” It’s okay to admit that at times we are a complete mess. We don’t have to appear as though we have it all together. Quite frankly, that doesn’t really exist for anyone. Rather than worry about these things, I desire to be led by my Heavenly Father and soak up His glorious presence.I don’t want to get caught up in the things of this world and lose focus on the birth of the most important leader of them all, Jesus. My prayer is that each and every one of you can do the same. To be reminded that it is okay to embrace the messes that we are in, and to learn from the greatest Leader of all time.
Danielle Hazlett serves as the Kid's Director at Next Level Church, where she oversees the kid's ministry across all NLC locations and equips the kids team leads so that they can raise up a generation of world changers. Danielle and her husband, Joe, together with their daughter live in Saco, Maine.