Loneliness as a Leader

1 August 2020

Working or volunteering as a leader in church can feel very lonely - particularly during a time of social isolation. Here Rachel shares four easy to follow ideas for helping us function well and wholly in our role.

Many of us are quite isolated: perhaps we are the only person doing this job in the vicinity, or we don’t feel part of the team at church, or we just feel … bleurggh.

Loneliness as a leader is tough. It can leave us feeling frustrated, unconfident or just plain cross.

In this ‘Lunch with Rachel’ Facebook Live, Rachel introduces the four Sharpie lids of wholeness as a leader, aka the four pillars we need in our ministry and personal lives to keep us feeling connected and secure.

  1. Church family: as a leader, our relationship with our church family changes: it becomes our workplace or a place where we carry significant responsibility. Giving yourself permission to just be part of the church community rather than a leader, and finding ways to do that, is important.
  2. Companionship: we all need people just to be with, to relax, laugh and ‘be me’ with. Working in a church means that many people will see you primarily with your leader’s hat on. Finding those people whom you see simply as friends and can hang out with with no strings attached is a significant part of keeping loneliness at bay.
  3. A place to share hearts and be understood: we may often feel we are the lone voice, or we’re pouring our hearts out daily or we are pastorally caring for everyone, but no-one’s caring for me. We all need to be genuinely able to be open, honest and heard.
  4. A safety net: when we aren’t able to do things – and we often end up feeling like we’re doing everything ourselves – who is my safety net, the people who have my back, who will step in when I can’t and pick up the pieces and do it for me? Discovering who is your safety net, or cultivating a group who will be your safety net, will make a huge difference to your leader wellbeing.

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