I believe it is God’s plan for us to be healthy in body, mind, and soul. It is vital that we as leaders be aware of our mental, emotional, spiritual tanks. When we overspend our tanks, we not only hurt ourselves but those we lead. If you are pouring out, you have to be poured in.

What did Jesus do in order to be healthy as a leader?

There is a common practice that is recorded in all 4 Gospels that we are going to take a look at. In light of October being mental helath month, let’s view this from perspective of mental health. What is the practice?


*14:13 “After he heard about John’s beheading. He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” 

Jesus suffered a loss. John understood Him in a unique way. so He took time to grieve. John the Baptist death also signified a change in the political climate. Withdrawing created space for Him to adapt the strategy in accomplishing the mission.

Out of this withdrawal time Jesus  feeds the 5,000.


3:7 “Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake.”

We see Jesus often pulling his disciples aside for more time together. Why? They are the future leaders and need to time to grow in their understanding of the mission, leadership ability and most of all, learn how to be a team. It also gave the disciples time for some much needed rest.


5:16 “Jesus often withdrew to a lonely places and prayed” (same incident as Mk).

9:10 “…Then He took them with him and they withdrew…” (feed the 5,000 same incident as Mt.)

*22:41 “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them-angel ministered to him”

Time of anguish, Time of surrender, Time to be cared for. Psalm 23 “…even through the valley of death your rod and your staff they comfort me”.


6:15 “withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” The crowd was coming to make him King by force. (after feed 5K,  before He walks on water)

11:54 “When he heard of the plot to kill him… He withdrew to a region near the desert”.

Time to live-change strategy due to change in circumstances, end is near. The last bit of time with disciples before His death.

Q: So what did Jesus do?

A: He practiced the discipline of withdrawing.

Q: Why?

A: In order to recharge personally, quality time with his team, and to stay on mission.

Q: What happened after he withdrew?

A: After bing poured in He was poured out. He helped the people in need around him.

As Followers of Jesus with gifts of leadership, we are called to pour out our lives. But we can only pour out what has been poured in. So we need to be in regular places to be poured into from the One we follow and our friends and family.

Practice withdrawal individually, with your family, and with key teams. Following or leading up to moments of sacrifice, loss. Allow God to take care of you and encourage you. Withdrawal when its time to regroup and/or changing circumstances require adaptation.