We are called to ministry out of our love for Jesus. Yet, almost immediately the activity of our lives (“doing” for Jesus) begins to eclipse the contemplative dimension of our lives (“being” with Jesus). Soon we are engaged in more activity for God than our being with God can sustain.
Our prioritization of doing for God over being with God is frequently a result of our identity being rooted in what we do rather than who we are. A loving relationship with God that is characterized by union and communion will help you anchor your identity in God’s love and to lead more out of who you are than what you do.
How Healthy Is Your Experience of Loving Union and Communion with God?
In his challenging and thought provoking new book, “The Emotionally Healthy Leader,” Peter Scazzero provides the following assessment to evaluate the health of your relationship with God.
Use the list of statements that follow to conduct a brief assessment of your loving union and communion with God. Next to each statement, write down the number that best describes your response. Use the following scale:
5 = Always true of me
4 = Frequently true of me
3 = Occasionally true of me
4 = Rarely true of me
1 = Never true of me
_____1. My highest priority as a leader is to take time each day to remain in loving union with Jesus.
_____2. I offer God full access to my interior life as I make decisions, interact with team members, and initiate new plans.
_____3. I wait to say yes or no to new opportunities until I have sufficient time to prayerfully and carefully discern God’s will.
_____4. I routinely step away from leadership demands and make time to delight in God’s gifts.
_____5. I have a dedicated and regular practice of meditating on Scripture in order to commune with and be transformed by Jesus.
_____6. I regularly set aside time for experiences of silence and solitude that enable me to be still and undistracted in God’s presence.
_____7. I am relaxed, comfortable with, and prayerful about my limits (my available gifts, time, energy, knowledge) as well as the limits of those around me.
_____8. When I become aware that I am anxious or feeling emotionally triggered in my leadership, I slow down to be with God, myself, and possibly spiritual companions.
_____9. I maintain intentional spiritual rhythms and practices that enable me to delight in God regardless of the expectations, needs, opportunities around me.
_____10. I am routinely aware of and think about God during my waking hours, at work or at home while doing routine tasks.
Take a moment to briefly review your responses. What stands out most to you?
If you scored mostly ones and twos, you are likely doing too much in your own power, perhaps more than God has asked you to do.
If you scored mostly twos and threes, you are making progress but likely are still out of balance, with insufficient being with God to sustain your doing for God.
If you scored mostly fours and fives, you are in a good place of rest and centeredness in your relationship with God. Your doing for God is fed and sustained by your being with God in a rhythm that works for your present leadership responsibilities.
Posted on November 10, 2015