One of the best resources for church leaders is constantly available, and free. It’s your breath. Using breath consciously can help us slow down and pay better attention to ourselves and others. Our brains need oxygen to work well. In a difficult meeting or conversation we can find ourselves breathing rapidly and shallowly, which can keep us from thinking clearly, just when we need to most.
Here are some ways to use breathing to help your ministry:
1. In prayer. Sit still and breathe, in awareness of God’s presence, for five minutes. Or one.
2. In meetings. When you notice your heart pounding, start breathing more deeply. Take at least five breaths. No one will notice, but you will calm down.
3. Before worship. Stand in the worship space before anyone gets there, and breathe to the back of the room. You’ll be more present in the pulpit. (This exercise comes from the great vocal coach for actors, Patsy Rodenburg.)
How are you breathing?