Vocation | Values | Vision | Vitality
You might be asking, “So how does this work?” Great question.
I have spent years mentoring leaders and have found two stages of integration that helps pastors come fully alive. ACTIVATION and INTEGRATION.
ACTIVATION is to rediscover the true self lying dormant within you, the self that was called into ministry and entered with a passion and excitement.
THE SLOW DEATH OF A PASTOR…
Over time we learned to conform to certain expectations placed upon us from outside authorities and demands.
- An elder board
- A power player congregant
- Denominational expectations
- The need to increase budgets
- Job descriptions
Many of these are actually pretty good and not the source of the angst within us. We learned a way of operating that outsources the task of casting a vision for our own life and church. This is how our soul slowly dies.
Jesus said, “What does it profit someone to gain the world, but lose their very soul?” Over time, our soul surrenders parts of its creativity, life, and passion in order to conform to outer expectations. We learn a form of leadership that operates at our soul’s expense.
The dreams that God originally gave to us, the plans that God has for us, the potential we have to transform and heal the world… all of it lies dormant within us behind our masks of conformity.
I’ve been a pastor for 20+ years, and frankly, I know it’s easier to blame outside sources than own the fact that we surrendered ground of our soul in compromise. That’s a hard truth I had to face within myself after a season of burnout.
When my outer life does not reflect or honor my true self, it creates an unseen battle within me, causing unnamed wounds. And this unused creativity within us turns into hidden anger, grief, bitterness, addiction, and shame.
At first it peeks its ugly head out every once in awhile in a loss of temper, a moral discretion, and we think, “where did that come from?” Over time, as these unnamed wounds accumulate and our quality of life deteriorates.
- Perhaps it is slow and unnoticed until one day you wake up in a mid-life crisis.
- Perhaps you feel a sense of disconnectedness that you’re unsure how to ignore.
- Perhaps you developed an unhealthy eating, drinking, or internet viewing patterns.
- Perhaps you have become more bitter, cynical, and angry toward your church.
- Perhaps there is just a settled numbness, or quiet desperation.
- Sometimes it all hits at once in a tragedy and you’re unsure how to rebuild life.
WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE FOR THE RESURRECTED JESUS TO BURST FROM THE TOMB WITHIN YOU?
Your true self is the you that God created, filled with:
- childlike wonder
- natural value
- original creativity
- massive potential
- …AND the Spirit of the Creator of the Universe!
Paul says, that this is the “you” that all of creation holds it’s breath to see revealed. Your church does too. So does your family.
The ACTIVATION phase helps you identify your true self, but that is not enough.
You must INTEGRATE that true self into the reality of your life. You must cast a vision of what your true self unleashed within your church might look like, and develop a plan to make it happen.
In order for this to work you need to cultivate a holistic health: body, mind, and spirit, in order to have the resources to make this plan happen.
Paul called this “working out our salvation in fear and trembling.”
Just think that God extends to us the dignity of working out our salvation…
To co-author our own becoming.
To partner in creation’s redemption
Let’s make a plan…