Thanks to our guest blogger today, Scott Couchenour, with www.servingstrong.com. He is a life coach assisting pastors and ministry leaders with avoiding burnout.




Occasionally I will join my wife who runs more religiously than I. If given the choice, I’d pick the flat 2-mile loop we have in our repertoire of routes. It’s relatively easy and it is done rather quickly. But that’s not always what we run. We do a 5-miler that has 2 or 3 nice sized hills that challenge us. But I’ve stumbled upon a technique that has helped me in those troubling spans of the course. I think it can be applied to ministry leadership.

Run the Bubble

When running up a hill, we’re wanting it to be done. So we speed up or get so anxious that by the time we reach the top (if we reach the top at all) we’ve spent all our energy for finishing. Instead, what I’ve learned to do is run the bubble. I keep my head down and look just 3 feet in front of me and run that little distance. Then I take the next 3 feet and run them. All I’m concerned with is the next 3 feet, my little bubble. I just run that and after a series of bubbles, I’m at the top with enough energy to continue.

The Ministry Bubble

Sometimes you lead in times of extreme difficulty. It seems like everything is uphill and all you want is to be done with it. Rather than get anxious and run the risk of not finishing strong, try running the ministry bubble. Take what you know you need to do just for the morning and trust God as you work your way to lunch. Then do the same for the afternoon. Then the evening. Break the difficult season into doable chunks.

If you actually persevered through a rough patch, what would that look like? How would you feel about yourself? About God? How do you think it would prepare you for the next rough patch?


If you’re thinking about making some changes to your personal or professional life and you want to increase the odds of your success in 2016, I invite you to consider joining the Serving Strong Membership. Here’s a link to a set of three short videos that explain it further: https://youtu.be/5PkYsKrGsB8


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