At the end of a long night have you ever asked, “Why am I doing this?” That question can stem from frustration, anger and disappointment. That question can also stem from loneliness.
When you hit the top of the management scale it’s difficult to find encouragement and affirmation. No one is pouring into you and all your energy is being spent on others. Leadership can get lonely, but it doesn’t have to. To face the loneliness you need to:
EMBRACE THE ROLE: It’s important to embrace the sacrifices and additional responsibilities that come with leadership. In fact you need to embrace the role. Refuse to complain and lean into the conflict that comes with it. Not only will you be rewarded with your obedience, but you’ll find yourself less distracted.
JOIN A NETWORK: No one is going to understand how you feel better than other youth leaders. Join a network, share war stories and pray for one another. When you recognize that other people are facing the same struggles you are it builds solidarity. Networks will remind you that you are not alone even if you feel lonely in leadership.
FIND A MENTOR: As a leader you are constantly pouring into others. You need someone pouring into you. A mentor doesn’t have to be another youth worker, it just needs to be someone:
- You respect
- Who has wisdom
- You trust to give you brutal truth
To find a mentor look at your church, ask coworkers or people in your network.
LEAN ON GOD: In the end you are never alone in leadership, you just need to trust God. He is going to lead you in and out of conflict. He wants you to grow you just need to trust that He is in control. Spend quiet time with God and track your journey in a journal.
Leadership can feel lonely, but it doesn’t mean you are on your own. Own the situation and you’ll be able to move forward.
How do you deal with the loneliness that comes with leadership?