If you’ve been following this blog series Equipping the Saints, perhaps you are inspired to develop your own capacity to lead. If so, by now you are wondering, “Where do I go from here?”
You might be tempted to jump right to those wise women introduced in the previous blog. May I recommend that before you dive right into their work, you cultivate your soul-soil? You know Jesus was all about fertile soil in which to sow seeds so that those seeds bear fruit. That same wisdom applies at this stage of the journey. You need fertile soul-soil, full of the nutrients necessary to listen to the Spirit, to equip yourself spiritually for the work of ecclesial leadership.
Rich soul-soil, like rich garden soil, needs regular nourishment. For we human beings, that means the adoption of practices that become habits. What are they? Here’s a short list: Studying and praying with Scriptures, praying in regular rhythms, reading thoughtful books and articles from a variety of knowledge streams, listening…really listening to homilies, interacting with fellow believers, practicing the presence of God, and of course, worship.
OK, so you have rich soul-soil. Now what? Well, now is the time to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit. It’s time to discern, first for yourself, but more importantly, to develop the skill of discernment so you are prepared to lead others in the same work. After all, contrary to ecclesial leaders who think the church belongs to them, it belongs to Jesus and so it is imperative that leaders know how to listen for his guidance. That process is called discernment.
Rich soul-soil, facility with discernment. Now what? Plan to grow. It is not enough to believe, to dream and to discern the voice of the Lord. It is also necessary to plan and act. Make sure you are committed to your own personal development, aligned with the Lord’s direction. Make sure you plan your strategy. Clear your pathway. Begin to experiment. You need a strategy for leadership development for yourself and for your staffs, councils, committees, commissions and conferences.
There’s more: Get a support system. It’s too hard to head in Spirit-led directions alone. Jesus modeled that with his disciples. Believe him! Do it for yourself. Plan for what Dr. Brene’ Brown calls “face down in the arena” moments. In other words, plan to be knocked down, resisted, maligned, and more. Jesus told us to prepare to be persecuted if we are following him. Take him at his word and plan for it.
ConSpirita is here to be part of your support system! Contact us to arrange for an hour of free consultation! Let us help you become the kind of leader equipped to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in renewing our embattled Church.