Spiritual Deep Cleaning for Leaders

I made a list of the areas in my house I want to deep clean this spring. By the time I finished, I had a full page of unpleasant jobs to do from the windows to the floor and everything in between. Much more than I can do in a weekend of scrubbing and decluttering.

I also made a list of areas in my spiritual life that could use a good washing and a repair job especially in the arena of leadership. Let’s consider the clean-up job before us.

Big Issues First

Begin with a blank pad as you list all the areas of your responsibility as a leader. Who are the people you lead? What is your purpose in leading them? What has changed over this past year of COVID and isolation? How are they different? What won’t work anymore? Getting a clear view of where you and your organization are today will help you move forward. This COVID-break from the norm may be the greatest opportunity you’ve ever had as a leader to revamp and revitalize. At some point, this crisis will end. If you begin now with a thorough review of every aspect of the ministry or organization you lead, you will be ready.

Repair the Broken

When we do a thorough spring cleaning in our home, we will find places that need repair — both big and small. A button needs to be sewn back on. A rip needs repair. A wall needs paint. A window needs replacing. As we assess our leadership position, we may need to repair some attitudes and throw away some annoying habits.

My personality type is the one who wants to be in charge and in control. I excel when I operate in my strengths of leading, inspiring, and directing. But when I function in my weaknesses, which include being bossy, impatient, and demanding, I fail. This spring is a good time for me to dig deep to discover what annoys me enough to push me into the flaws that linger near the surface of my personality. And get rid of them.

Complaining and finding fault needs to be stuffed in a trash can. Arguing and thinking I know a better way must go. Instead, I need to unpack and dust off joy and patience and kindness and humility so I can replace the negative with the positive. Paul said:

[Love is not] rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT

Declutter the Messy

While we quarantined, we streamed movies, documentaries and YouTube shows in quantities we had never consumed before. We watched the news incessantly, trying to get a glimpse of the next wave. We complained about politicians and government and people. Since our businesses and our ministries were slow or halted and we were stuck at home, we had extra time on hand for these entertainments and news updates. Now my mind has become a selfish center desiring these indulgences, and they clutter my time and energy. It is time for me to focus in an innovative and fresh way on what God has called me to do. It means leaving some excesses and centering my heart. I turned off the TV, and I refuse to watch the news all day. I limit movies to inspiring and uplifting shows. Less of the self-centered distractions because none of these diversions will give me the joy of following Christ.

Spruce It Up

Renewal and new life are the symbols of spring. Start fresh. Try some new ideas for your organization. Never look back. We are renewed in Christ. He is our sustenance, and he is our joy. After a season of stress and uncertainty, we can rejoice with Isaiah, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom” (Isaiah 35:1 NIV).

Let’s talk it over.

Six Spring Cleaning Questions for Leaders

1. What has changed in me as a leader — my priorities, my purpose, my dreams?

2. How have I struggled with a sense of pride this past year?

3. What words of mine hinted at criticism or dissatisfaction?

4. Throughout this crisis, have I treated others as Jesus would treat them?

5. What is most important as I start anew?

6. Who are the people I can engage now, and how can I bring them into my leadership team?

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