Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Leadership & the Danger of Unconscious Striving

Greencrest Manor, Battle Creek

Growth and maturity in pastoral leadership means:

1. Greater abiding

2. Less striving

It means:

1. Greater discerning

2. Less deciding

It means:

1. More God-pleasing

2. Less people-pleasing

The spiritual maturation process takes place in the presence of God. Constant abiding in God's presence provides protection for our souls. In His presence there is no burnout. As the God-connection is nurtured the inner fire is tended.

Ruth Haley Barton writes:

"Without the regular experience of being received and loved by God in solitude and silence, we are vulnerable to a kind of leadership that is driven by profound emptiness that we are seeking to fill through performance and achievement. This unconscious striving is very dangerous for us and for those around us; it will eventually burn us out (since there is no amount of achievement that will ultimately satisfy the emptiness of the human soul), and the people we work with will eventually notice that they are mere cogs in the wheel of our own ego-driven plans. (Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, p. 126)