Leading a Fast Growing Church While Having Healthy Rhythms & Boundaries with Zeb Cook

Welcome back to the unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Zeb Cook, the lead pastor at Apex Baptist Church in Apex, North Carolina. Zeb is talking with us today about establishing healthy rhythms and boundaries in your life so that you can continue to thrive in the ministry where God has called you.

  • Create a system of boundaries. // When you’re young and just starting out in ministry, it’s easy to think that you can run at a fast pace nonstop, especially because the power of God is with you. But the reality is that ministry can be very draining. We can keep up a fast pace for a time, but at some point we will all hit a wall. Zeb found in his journey that creating healthy rhythms in his life is an important part of running the race well. Developing a system of boundaries around you will help you see clearly when you’re running in an unhealthy direction.
  • Be honest about your limits. // To begin establishing healthy rhythms and boundaries we have to get really honest about our limitations. Stop pretending that you can handle it all. Be honest with yourself and then be honest with other people around you. There will be certain seasons of your life that are especially draining and it’s important to recognize when you are pouring a lot out because you will equally need to refuel more. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say no to things.
  • Make the changes needed. // Take the time you need to do the simple things in your life like get a good night’s sleep, exercise, or eat better. Be cognizant of the small compromises that can happen when we are depleted. Recognize the dragon when the dragon is small and slay it. Have a layer of accountability so that you can address temptation and sin before it gets out of hand, and make the changes needed.
  • Be disciplined and committed. // When you make a radical commitment, the results always come. Make a commitment to make the changes needed to take care of yourself. Be disciplined in developing healthy habits, your relationships with others, and your time with God. Identify where there are deficits in your life and what needs more attention.
  • Keep the balance. // There has to be a balance of boundaries when you’re a servant leader. There are some invitations you are drawn to while you won’t connect with others. But you can’t base all boundaries simply on what you do and don’t like to do. Instead ask what is best for the faith family you’re serving. Take a look at what’s coming up in the church and what hours you have in your calendar, and attend what you can. It’s ok to say no too.
  • Don’t hide yourself. // We can easily identify narcissistic pride in people, but for many of us pride can be more subtle. Instead it manifests itself because of our insecurities. Pride wells up when we constantly try to prove ourselves and be seen in the best light. Combat this by remembering when you were first called into ministry and what was driving you then. Don’t hide your struggles just to look good. Be vulnerable and honest with people around you.
  • Connect with others. // Everyone in ministry needs a support network. Look to other pastors or church leaders in your area and connect with them. They can understand experiences you’re walking through and be the friends you need in your life.

You can learn more about Apex Baptist Church at www.apexbaptist.org.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Risepointe

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.