Leading with God Part One: Abide

sunflowersMy last post shared 3 Ways to Leave God Out of Your Leadership. I was putting words to what we as Christian leaders often do but aren’t willing to admit. About three years ago, I read Ruth Haley Barton’s book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership and realized I had been leading out of my own strength instead of the overflow of God’s work in my life. What an embarrassing and humbling realization it was.

One way I found myself leading without God was by striving: working in a way that left me in charge–of the opportunities and the results. In fact, I recognized this habit rearing its ugly head again just a few weeks ago. My frenzied pace had me connected to my technology like an addict waiting for the next hit. Each response to an email, invite, or tweet brought a surge of adrenaline that led me to push harder and faster without regard for whom I was pushing past. The end of the day brought total exhaustion with no rest in sight.

Gently, God has shown me the opposing approach to my striving is abiding. In John 15, Jesus invites us to abide in him–or remain in him–and goes on to say that apart from him we can do nothing. No success with lasting impact. No impact for the Kingdom. Absolutely nothing.

I want my leadership to make a difference–my direction to be directed. A wise spiritual director helped shape the following three questions to ask God (to avoid striving and choose abiding):

  1. What is the work you have for me today?
  2. What is the work that only I can do?
  3. Where are you at work, and how can I join you?

My next post will focus on the second way we lead without God–by working 24/7–and how we can choose to lead with God by establishing a rhythm of work and rest.

How do you abide with God as you lead?


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