1. Violating the Sabbath. Nothing will drain you like a lack of a day off. But this one is a subtle one. The enemy of our souls love to get us so busy that we have to violate our sabbath. It’s like changing the oil in your car. Don’t do it for 5,000 miles and nothing will happen. Don’t do it for 10,000 miles and no one will notice, still. Don’t do it for 25,000 miles and your car will breakdown on the side of the road.
The same is true with our Sabbath, we can neglect it for quite a while with seemingly little or no consequences, but eventually it will catch up with us and bite us.
2. Schedule Creep. Put simply, adding without subtracting can eat your lunch. As your church grows, so will it’s calendar. If you don’t strategically subtract from it, you’ll end up running yourself ragged.
3. Not having Pre-Determined Boundaries. Plain and simple, if we don’t set our boundaries, someone else will. The problem for most of us is that because we’ve not pre-decided on what we will and won’t do, we end up allowing the emotion or pressure of the moment to dictate our commitments and obligations, and we pay the price.
4. Our Inability to say no. This is a tough one, because we all want people to like us. But if we don’t learn the art (and it is definitely an art) of saying no to people, we’ll be at their mercy to the detriment of our own margin.
And here’s the thing about saying no, we have to learn the art of saying no, without excuse. This is killer hard. Because we feel the pressure to have a “good” or “legitimate” excuse. But there’s something powerfully mature about being able to say no with no because. Just Thanks, but no. That’s a tough one.
Bob Hostetler is a literary agent, an award-winning writer, editor, pastor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His thirty books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices), and the award-winning Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by the Salvation Army and earned degrees in English Bible from Cincinnati Christian University and English Communications from Bloomfield College. In 2000, Bob (with his wife, Robin) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. They have two children and four grandchildren. He has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor, and (with Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once). They live in Hamilton, Ohio. You can follow Bob at @bobhoss.