You are a leader. Are you uncomfortable with that thought? If so, you’re not alone. Many people shy away from the idea. But your life forms and shapes the lives of others. What you say, how you live, what you strive for speaks volumes and people are watching and listening…whether we are willing to admit it or not.
Many of us lead out of the roles that we have assumed for ourselves or that others have designated for us. But the most profound leadership we can offer spills from the depth of our intimacy with God. This is radically different, yet it is exactly what Jesus hopes for us. Afterall, He lived and led from a position of wholeness because of His relationship with the Father.
Ruth Haley Barton, author, spiritual director and founder of the Transforming Center, writes about how this type of leadership reframes our perspective and gives us freedom.
When we are willing to lead from this place, we finally have something real to offer that actually corresponds to what people around us are seeking. And the quality of our leadership is decidedly different. Rather than leading from the unconscious patterns of the false self, we are leading from selves that are being transformed by our encounters with God in solitude and silence.
Rather than leading from frenetic busyness, we are leading in a paced way, taking time to notice the burning bushes in our own lives.
Rather than leading from over-stimulation and increasing exhaustion, we are discovering rhythms of work and rest, silence and word, stillness and action that God built into the universe for our well-being.
Rather than being subject to other people’s expectations and our own inner compulsions, we are operating out of a deepening sense of God’s call upon our lives.
Rather than leading from a simplistic view of the spiritual life, we have inside-out understanding of the shape of the spiritual journey that comes from having been faithful to our own journeys.
Rather than arguing, fighting and trying to defend ourselves against every criticism and challenge to our leadership, we regularly and routinely carry the people we are leading into God’s presence and intercede on their behalf.
Rather than bearing the burden of leadership alone, we open up our loneliness to God and to those with whom we can cultivate healthy interdependence.”
Oh, how I long to have this perspective and hope to lead from a place of confidence and freedom in Jesus, don’t you? It’s a deep place, yet I often find myself splashing around in shallow waters. As much as I’d like to “jump in,” I have a feeling that this isn’t a place you can get to overnight. It requires time, consistency, vulnerability, and intimacy with God. It means I need to listen more than I speak and be more than I do…and those things don’t come easy.
But God never offers something we can’t have. And He gives us the invitation to put our relationship with Him first and let our lives flow from there. Not only will it change us and our perspective, but it will transform those who are around us.
What do you need to do to start your journey to the deep end with God?
I’d love to pray for you!