One of the perks of still being an executive assistant to some extent is that I still get to work with my pastor and have access to his ebooks. ?
The moment I purchased for him the book, Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, I made a mental note to read it. But that’s the thing with mental notes—I forget them. ? Until my boss whose pastor also read the book discussed it with their group, and he in turn shared it in one of our team meetings. It sounded so familiar… Aaaah, yes, it was that mental note! ?
As of this writing, I have only read the foreword and introduction and I couldn’t wait to finish it! Just the first few pages and it got me reflecting on my relationship with God. The following isn’t the exact message of the pages I’ve read, but the pages did surface something that’s been a constant tug.
Looking months back, I feel like God has been kind of telling me the same message in different words and ways—I need to grow deeper in Him. Earlier on I felt that three things were key to me knowing Him as how He wants me to know Him this season: spending more time reading the Bible, music, and silence (just being quiet and enjoying His presence).
I realize that since almost three years ago, I’ve been so focused on and pretty much selectively hearing only about what’s next for my work; I could be more sensitive to what’s next in my relationship with God (yes, my mind is quite compartmentalized). I’ve been asking questions like, “What’s next? How can I contribute more? What more can I give?” But even without asking how I could grow deeper in Him there were already answers. To slow down, to nurture my soul, to be still. The same three things. Word, music, silence.
I’m in a new season after all the transitions of 2018, and as with any transition it’s a time to know God more in ways I have not. Through the years, I have learned that when God brings me to new seasons, it comes with knowing an aspect of Him more personally. And so I am writing this, because mental notes do not work for me.
Slow down, spend more time reading the Bible
Nurture my soul as I worship Him through music
Be still before Him in silence and solitude
And as the book recounts from Matthew 16:26 NLT, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” No amount of performance, results, tickboxes checked is worth my soul.
The soul-full leaders is faithful to one thing he can do—create the conditions that set us up for an encounter with God in the places where we need it most. To continually seek God in the crucible of ministry no matter how hard it gets.
Truly, the best thing any of us have to bring to leadership is our own transforming lives.
(Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry)
An effort to be fruitful is futile, but an effort to remain connected to the vine bears fruit (reference: John 15).
Are you in a new season? Is God calling you to grow deeper in Him? To know an aspect of Him more personally? Let’s do that first, and I believe the rest will fall into their rightful place.