13 Things Mentally Strong Churches Don’t Do
I came across this post last week entitled 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Its a good, quick read and provides some opportunities for self-reflection and improvement. If you’re prone to negative self-talk or find yourself surrounded by folks who seem to thrive on taking you down a notch, I would recommend it. There’s also a related post on How to Develop Mental Toughness.
As I read through the post, I began to think that many of these same principles would apply to churches as well. The following is a quick, and probably not well thought through, translation of these principles for church leaders to consider. I would love your thoughts on these.
13 Things Mentally Strong Churches Don’t Do
Mentally strong churches have healthy habits. Their leaders manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and those of the people they lead, in ways that set them up for Kingdom success. Rather than allowing their circumstances to dictate how they respond, react, and plan, mentally strong churches maintain the course God has set for them, knowing that the clarity and consistency they have in times of calm will serve them in the chaos. Check out these characteristics of a ‘mentally strong church’ so that you can assess your church’s mental toughness.
1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Mentally strong churches don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in their communities and in the Kingdom and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give other churches, special interest groups, rogue leaders, or noisy congregants power over them. They don’t say things like, “People may get upset and leave,” because they understand that God is in control, which gives them a choice in how they respond.
3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
Mentally strong churches don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.
4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
You won’t hear a mentally strong church complaining over the church down the street or the economy. Instead, they focus on what they can control. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.
5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Mentally strong churches recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.
6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong churches spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.
7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
Mentally strong churches don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.
8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
Mentally strong churches accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.
9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
Mentally strong churches can appreciate and celebrate other church’s success. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work and God’s blessings, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success. Mentally strong churches recognize that we’re all playing for the same team.
10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
Mentally strong churches don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.
11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
Mentally strong churches can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to ‘go it alone’ and view the solitude as an opportunity to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.
12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
Mentally strong churches don’t feel entitled to things. They weren’t planted with a mentality that others would take care of them or that God would show them special treatment. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their calling and what that have already been given.
13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Whether they are working on impacting the spiritual health of their members or getting a new community initiative off the ground, mentally strong churches don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.