the shape of leadership

Six Signs Your Staff Needs a Day Off

Recognize when it’s time to give team members a break

Influence Magazine on July 5, 2018

We all need a break now and then. The constant grind of any job can affect our health and emotions. But the nature of ministry makes it easy to keep going week after week without taking time off.

As a leader, you should have your fingers on the pulse of your staff — and yourself as well! Knowing when it’s time to take a day off can make a huge difference. Here are six things to look for:

1. You’re Hearing More Cynicism and Complaints

No one likes to hear negativity. But instead of addressing it as a discipline opportunity, use it as a prompt to dig deeper. Are those complainers getting tired? When was their last day off? Maybe they just need some time away to gain rest and new perspective.

2. Deadlines Are Being Missed

If you needed it by Friday but didn’t get it until early Sunday morning, it may be a sign of more than just procrastination. When inquiring about the reason for the delay, lead with an openness to hear the real concerns. Taking a step back can sometimes help you get a step ahead.

3. Quality Has Plateaued

It’s not just missed deadlines or failed assignments you’re looking out for. Your staff members may be getting everything done right on time. They may be doing an adequate job. But perhaps they aren’t going the extra mile.

Make sure your team members are watching their energy gauges.

Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. Reaching for excellence will require a full tank. Make sure your team members are watching their energy gauges.

4. Passion for the Unsaved Is Waning

One of the most devastating things that can happen to a minister is a lack of excitement about seeing lost people saved. If you see your team starting to lag in this area, give them some time to reignite that passion. Everyone’s fire will falter from time to time, and we need to fan it into flame again.

5. Personal Disciplines Are Slipping

Do you know about your team members’ personal spiritual habits? Are they praying regularly, getting into the Word, and worshiping as a lifestyle? Or are they picking up bad habits? Taking time off is not just for fun and games. It’s also a way to get back on track spiritually. Consider offering extra time off for a spiritual retreat, as a group or alone.

6. Health Issues Are Increasing

Along with your team’s emotional and spiritual health, look out for their physical well-being. Is anyone on staff experiencing health problems? What about a family member? Ask a local medical facility about bringing in a doctor or some nurses to provide regular health screenings. Your health insurance may cover the cost.

Keeping everyone physically fit means they have energy to keep building the Kingdom.

How are you looking out for those God has placed on your team? As a leader, it is sometimes your job to step in and tell them to slow down or stop. A fully rested staff with regular days off can accomplish so much more, both for your church and themselves!


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