From what I’ve read, it’s a fact that lots of people are sleep deprived. Leaders in particular tend to work too much and too long and don’t get the 7-9 hours of recommended sleep for adults. Those of us who do so pay a price that is not often identified or thought about. Chuck Lawless shares 10 things that happen when church leaders don’t get enough rest. His insight is applicable  to all leaders, not just church leaders.

Originally posted by Chuck Lawless

I can’t speak for all church leaders here, but I’ve worked with enough of them to know my own experiences aren’t unique. When we don’t get the rest God expects us to get, negative things happen. I write of these dangers today because I’m trying hard to change my own patterns so I rest better:

  1. We have little energy for Bible study and prayer. Both take concentration – and alertness. 
  2. We don’t listen well when ministering to others. It’s hard to listen when your mind and body are exhausted. 
  3. We’re often short and unkind toward those who love us most. That is, we take out our fatigue on our family. 
  4. Our teaching preparation often suffers. Weariness simply makes it harder to focus on this task as much as we should. 
  5. We’re more vulnerable to temptation. That’s the case for all of us, actually. Fatigue is an open door for the enemy. 
  6. Little issues get magnified. Things that wouldn’t have bothered us otherwise take their toll on us when we’re tired. 
  7. We’re often more likely to get sick. We’re already hanging out with a lot of people who carry germs (especially as activities reopen from COVID), and our lack of rest makes us more susceptible. 
  8. Ministry becomes even more difficult. It’s already tough some days, even when we’ve had plenty of rest. That’s so compounded when we’re weary that we live on the edge of burnout. 
  9. We set a bad example for other believers. It might even be tempting to brag about such commitment to God that we sleep little, but it’s not a good witness to others. 
  10. We might be living out our idolatry. When we work without pause, perhaps to prove our value or reap the praise of others, we give evidence of our own false gods. 

Please pray for me that I would hear my own words. What else would you add to this list?