Concentric Circles of Leader Care
As a spiritual leader, there are important areas to which only you can give careful attention. Think of these relationships, which require your careful cultivation and spiritual growth, as ever expanding concentric circles. These circles of leader care are based on our Lord's Great Commission and Great Commandment, for Great Commission living is empowered by Great Commandment love. This concentric circle model of ministry reflects the heart of Care4Pastors' partners and has shaped the strategies and resources we provide.
Love the Lord: The center circle of leader care, which should be at the core of a leader's heart. The leader who knows the truth to "love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind" is to experience it daily by being in the Lord's presence with a grateful and listening heart (Matthew 22:37-38).
Love Your Spouse: This next circle of leader care literally means that you are to "love our 'near one' as yourself." In order to love your spouse, you must know your spouse. This is why 1 Peter 3:7 encourages husbands to "dwell with our wives with understanding." Take time to know your spouse by spending time together, scheduling regular date nights or special retreats (Matthew 22:39, 1 Peter 3:7).
Love Your Children: Your children are a gift from the Lord, who are to be valued as your most important disciples. Give time to "enter your child's world" by participating in their likes and interests. Plan your ministry schedule around your children's schedules. Take time off to prioritize your relationship with them (​Prov. 22:6, ​Ps. 127:3, ​Gal. 5:13).
Love In Community: The fourth circle is love expressed in the community of faith. This means that loving your church is an expression of the depth of love you've experienced in the first three inner circles. A healthy pastor, with a healthy marriage and family is able to effectively serve the local church as a servant leader. Lead the local church as Jesus did, by developing disciples who make disciples as they become fully-equipped workmen (​John 13:34-35, ​2 Tim. 2:2).
Love on Mission: The outermost circle of leader care is imparting your life and the gospel. The apostle Paul modeled this in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 by saying, "We were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives." As missional leaders, empowered by the love of Christ, we can effectively lead the church to declare and demonstrate the gospel in the communities around us (​1 Thes 2:7–8, ​Acts 4:12).
As you reflect on the Concentric Circles of Leader Care, we would encourage you to prayerfully reflect  and then humbly ask the Lord: 
"Which of these relationships would You like to see me give more attention?" Pray a simple prayer: "Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens."