The Healthy Church Staff Podcast

Setting Boundaries That Stick: Five Strategies

February 26, 2024 Todd Rhoades Season 1 Episode 36
The Healthy Church Staff Podcast
Setting Boundaries That Stick: Five Strategies
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Setting boundaries isn't just a good idea; it's your lifeline in ministry leadership. On the latest Healthy Church Staff podcast, I, Todd Rhoades, unravel the misconceptions that shackle church leaders to unsustainable practices and explore five transformative strategies for crafting necessary limits. Get ready to learn how to discern true emergencies, push back against manipulation, allocate time for what's truly important, and incorporate essential rest into your hectic schedule. This is your invitation to a healthier, more balanced approach to leadership – one that doesn't compromise your personal well-being or your effectiveness in ministry.

In the realm of ministry, it's easy to blur the lines between service and self-care, but this episode shines a light on the path to harmony between the two. As we delve into the strategies for safeguarding your family time without neglecting your pastoral duties, I open up the floor for your insights and experiences. Your stories are the heartbeat of this community, and as we share in this journey, we collectively find the strength to uphold our boundaries with grace. Stay tuned for our next conversation on the role of formal theological education, which promises to be as enlightening as it is provocative.

Have questions or comments? Send to podcast@chemistrystaffing.com

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Speaker 1:

Hi there, my name is Todd Rhodes and you are listening to the Healthy Church Staff podcast. Happy Monday to you. Today, we're going to be talking about something that I think a lot of pastors and church leaders are shy away from, and that's setting boundaries. In my opinion, boundaries are something you just have to have as a pastor, as a church leader. You have to have them. They're crucial for you personally, they're crucial for your ministry, but the reality of it is boundaries don't just happen, they don't just make themselves, and today we're going to talk about how you can set up some healthy boundaries that will guard not only your time, but also your family, your personal life, your ministry as well. If you have no boundaries, here's what could happen You're more likely to experience burnout, you're more likely to experience stress and, eventually, you're more likely to experience resentment, particularly in your job and your role and your ministry at the church. Here's what it really comes down to. When it comes to setting boundaries, you have to understand your limits. Now you know this as a pastor, as a church leader Everybody wants a piece of you. Everyone wants some of your time. After all, they pay your salary, right? Sometimes they'll even let you know that they pay your salary and they expect certain things from you. But, all this considered, you still have to understand your limit and while your availability matters, you can't compromise your serenity or your family to unreasonable expectations. So that's why I think it's really important for you to try and set up some boundaries. Now there are some common misconceptions, almost myths. We even excuses why leaders a lot of times don't set up boundaries, and I want to go over those really quickly, and then we're going to talk about really quickly five strategies that I want to encourage you to try out this week as you try, if you have no boundaries, to try and set up some boundaries that will help you in your personal life and in your ministry.

Speaker 1:

First, these misconceptions, or these myths, or these excuses the first one, first myth, is that setting boundaries means that you don't care about people's needs. Todd, I can't set up boundaries If I tell people no, if I set up boundaries, they're going to think I don't care about them. Just the opposite is true. You can't care for everybody all the time, setting boundaries and determining who can meet with and when you can meet with, and how long you can meet with and how long everybody gets of your time and what hours of the day, all of those kind of boundaries. The opposite is actually true. It helps you to serve them better when you have those boundaries in place.

Speaker 1:

Okay, the other misconception is that saying no makes you seem uncompassionate. The reality is, sometimes saying no allows you to say yes when it really matters. You can't say yes to everything. If you do say yes to everything, you're going to do a poor job. It really helps you. Saying no sometimes helps you prioritize what's really important. Okay, that's another misconception.

Speaker 1:

Another myth Nature should be available 24 seven. In reality, you can't do that. You got to sleep, you got to eat, you got to do what you got to do. It's just unrealistic. If you have in your mind that you're not going to create boundaries because you need to be available 24 seven, people will take advantage of that and it will eventually lead to exhaustion. And even God rested and put into our calendar a day of Sabbath for us to rest. None of us can go 24 seven ever.

Speaker 1:

Okay, two more myths and then we'll get into strategies. Here's a myth, maybe an excuse If I set boundaries, things won't get done. If I put parameters around things, I won't be as effective. And the reality is boundaries help protect time for your highest priorities and allow you to get more things done. You're not constantly being taken away by the whim of what other people are asking for if you set down your boundaries. And finally, one of the reasons a lot of pastors, I think, refuse, or just have neglected to set up boundaries is the fear that they're going to disappoint people. If I set up boundaries, I'll disappoint people. And the reality here is you can set kind, compassionate boundaries. As a matter of fact, they should be kind and compassionate. You can take this way too far, but real leaders do what's best for not only their church but for their own personal well-being, and not just over the short term but for the long term. So those are some of the misconceptions as to why maybe in the past you may have thought I really pastors aren't supposed to have boundaries. I think you do. I think you do. And here's five quick strategies that I would love for you if you feel like Todd, yeah, I really do need to have some additional boundaries in my life. Here are some quick strategies.

Speaker 1:

Strategy number one you have to discern what the real emergencies are from the interruptions, and we have a tendency I think we all do I know I do is to think that everything is an emergency. If an opportunity or a problem presents itself, man, you got to be on it like a bug, and part of the first strategy is just, you got to discern is this a real emergency? Can this waiter, does this need my full attention right now? And a lot of times, everything's not an emergency and not everything needs your direct attention right now, and maybe not even your direct attention at all. Okay, so that's strategy number one discern real emergencies from interruptions. Strategy number two I would like to recommend to you is identify when you're feeling pressured or obligated. Don't be manipulated. Man, oh man, there are people in your church, there are people in every church that will manipulate you if you allow them to, and they will pressure you, they will make you feel obligated, and you need to identify those and deal with them in a very pastoral and caring way. Okay, so that's strategy number two. Number one everything's not an emergency. Number two identify when you're being pressured and don't be manipulated.

Speaker 1:

Number three remember this that no is a complete sense. All you have to do is say no, and as a pastor, you have every right to say it. You can be assertive, but you can be considerate. You need to be considerate and ensure that your response is firm, but it's gentle. I remember one day, a long time ago boy, this probably been 30 years ago I had a person in my choir. I was leading a choir at the church and she came up to me and afterwards after one of the services, and said Todd, I think the Lord told me that you're supposed to have me and my family over for dinner. And I said that's really interesting. God's not told me that yet, so I'll wait to hear from him. But that was going back to the last strategy. I was being pressured and obligated and manipulated a little bit. And strategy number three there is a time where you can say it affirm, but gentle, no, okay.

Speaker 1:

Strategy number four if you can't handle a task, delegate it. You don't have to do everything. Everything doesn't have to fall onto your plate. Matter of fact, everything shouldn't fall onto your plate. So don't hesitate to share the responsibilities with maybe a board member, maybe a staff member, maybe a team member. But it's better to share responsibilities rather than just ignore the request altogether. Ignoring requests will get you in trouble and make people feel undervalued and unappreciated. So that's strategy number four. And then strategy number five really try to prioritize. This goes back to the first one, determining the emergencies from the interruptions. Focus your energy on tasks that align with who God has called you to be and what your actual purpose is.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so those are five strategies to help you set down some boundaries. Boundaries are really about protecting you and your ministry. They're about protecting you and your family. If you don't set up boundaries, if you just all in all the time to the point that you can't get any of your real work done because you're addressing people's demands on you, you're gonna end up getting tired, angry, burned out, bitter, and it's just not gonna be good. So that's why I think setting boundaries is just absolutely vital, and I would encourage you this week. What boundaries do you have in place? What have you put into place? What kind of rules, what kind of sets of guidelines do you have that guard against your time, that guard against this burnout, that guard against being pulled into everybody's situations 24, seven? If you don't have a good set of boundaries, write some up, use these strategies.

Speaker 1:

Go back and listen today and pick out those strategies, and I'd love to hear what you put into place. You can reach me anytime at podcast at chemistrystaffingcom. I would love to hear from you, tell me a little bit about your situation and if this podcast today helped you, I would love to hear your story. Podcast at chemistrystaffingcom. We'll be back here tomorrow. Tomorrow we're gonna be talking about a really interesting topic. It comes up quite often. I work at chemistry staffing. We're talking to candidates all day long and churches for that matter. Do you really need that degree? We're gonna talk about MDivs and Demons. Oh my, all that good stuff. Tomorrow here on the Healthy Chirps staff podcast, I'll talk to you then.

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