Losing Relationships | Selah Leaders Podcast | Episode 8

Navigating the Loss of Relationships in Leadership

Welcome to our blog! Today, we delve into a topic that resonates deeply with many leaders, especially those in ministry: losing relationships. This summary is based on a recent sermon that explored the complexities and emotional challenges of navigating relational losses. Whether you’re a church leader, a business leader, or someone interested in understanding the dynamics of relationships, this post aims to provide you with valuable insights and practical advice.

Why Do We Lose Relationships?

People Come Into Your Life for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

Tyler Perry once said that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. This concept is particularly relevant in leadership. Leaders often overestimate the number of “lifetime” people in their lives. In ministry, you’re there for significant life moments—births, weddings, crises—and it can be hard to accept when these relationships end.

The Emotional Toll of Losing Relationships

Losing relationships is emotionally taxing. You develop deep connections with people, sometimes even more with their families. The pain of losing these connections is real and should be acknowledged. If it stops hurting, it might indicate that you’ve become desensitized, which is a dangerous place to be in ministry.

How to Navigate the Loss of Relationships

Stewardship vs. Ownership

One of the most crucial lessons in leadership is understanding the difference between stewardship and ownership. As leaders, we are stewards of the people God has entrusted to us, not their owners. Holding people with an open hand allows God to bless and reallocate them as He sees fit. This mindset shift can significantly reduce the emotional burden of losing relationships.

Healthy Emotional Connections

While emotional connections are essential, they should not become unhealthy dependencies. If you feel you can’t live without a particular relationship, it may indicate misplaced hope and trust. God has the capacity to build His church with or without specific individuals.

Practical Steps for Leaders

Revisit Your “Why”

When you lose people, it’s crucial to revisit why you do what you do. Did God call you to this role? What is your focus? Being intentional and strategic in these moments can help you navigate the emotional turmoil.

Communicate Expectations

If you’re a leader managing a team, be clear about how you expect them to respond to people who leave and talk negatively about you. Predetermined responses can prevent unnecessary conflicts and maintain a healthy team environment.

Embrace Your Role

As a leader, your primary role is to lead, not to be everyone’s friend. While friendships can develop, they should not come at the expense of your leadership responsibilities. Balancing these roles can be challenging but is essential for effective leadership.

Embrace Stewardship

This week, focus on embracing the role of a steward rather than an owner. Reflect on the relationships in your life and consider how you can hold them with an open hand, trusting God to guide and bless them.

Questions to Ponder

1. Are there any relationships in your life where you feel an unhealthy dependency?

2. How can you better steward the people God has entrusted to you?

3. What steps can you take to revisit your “why” and refocus on your calling?

Challenge for the Week

Identify one relationship where you feel a sense of ownership rather than stewardship. Make a conscious effort to release that control and trust God with the outcome. Share your experience with a trusted friend or mentor to gain additional insights and support.

Thank you for reading! We hope this summary provides you with valuable insights and practical steps to navigate the loss of relationships in leadership. Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Lean into God, and He will guide you through.

Feel free to share this post with others who might benefit from it. For more resources and information, visit our website.


Nick Newman

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