I spent some time this week getting ready for the new ministry season. I usually like to do this earlier, but I’ve been away a lot this summer. Better late than never. Here’s some of what I’ve realized. I was reminded of how much I need solitude in order to think and to listen to the Spirit. Everyone is different, but need time alone. There’s something in quiet and journaling that is far more effective for me than anything else. Bill Easum talks about whether you want to be remembered for building a place or for building people. I get so turned off with pastors building institutions, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be building. My focus should be people, though. I tend to be a laissez faire leader. This is okay sometimes, but I need to do better at taking initiative and making sure that people aren’t waiting on me for things to happen. To my amazement, people are sometimes waiting on me who really shouldn’t be, and they don’t tell me they’re waiting, but I need to notice and tell them to go ahead. When I’m under stress, I shouldn’t switch from being laissez faire to controlling. Bad. Very bad. I need to set my own agenda before other people set it for me, or rather that I should let God set the agenda. This is especially true with my schedule. I can get so busy in the day to day that I lose all my effectiveness. I need to remember that I can’t give what I don’t have. I need to make sure I’m growing. Solitude, reading, and prayer are biggies. I easily lose sight of the big picture. I need to get a lot clearer on what it’s all about and keep that right in front of me. Basic stuff. Kind of a survival kit for the coming year.