Emotionally Healthy Leadership One Day

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Tag Archives: desire

Two Questions for Prayer

At New Life, we have been in a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer for the last two months. At the same time, for the past year, Geri and I have been working through the Ignatian Exercises. Out of this synergy, two questions have emerged for us. They have enabled us to get at the heart of God behind the Lord’s Prayer itself. I offer them to you to slowly ponder before the Lord: 1. What is God’s deepest desire for my life? 2. What is my deepest desire for me? What might be the implications of your answers for the way you lead and live today?

Pastoral Burnout and Self-Compassion

A study conducted out of Duke University, published in 2011, looked at the four primary factors of why clergy burnout: Desire to please others. Fear of letting parishioners down or not living up to their expectations can leave clergy depleted….Clergy high in desire to please neglect their hobbies, families, and spirituality, fear letting down congregants, and have a hard time saying no to requests. Clergy low in desire to please reserve time for their personal lives without feeling selfish or anxious about disappointing others. Guilt or shame proneness. Overall, “shame is considered the more painful emotion because one’s core self—not simply one’s behavior—is at stake”. Self-compassion. Self-compassion entails offering kindness, patience, and understanding to oneself during times of failure or disappointment. Individuals high in self-compassion recognize that others go through similar experiences and feel connected rather than isolated during times of pain. (They) neither ignore nor ruminate about their own shortcomings. Differentiation of self from role Beebe (2007) found. Read more.

Pastoral Burnout and Self-Compassion

A study conducted out of Duke University, published in 2011, looked at the four primary factors of why clergy burnout: Desire to please others. Fear of letting parishioners down or not living up to their expectations can leave clergy depleted….Clergy high in desire to please neglect their hobbies, families, and spirituality, fear letting down congregants, and have a hard time saying no to requests. Clergy low in desire to please reserve time for their personal lives without feeling selfish or anxious about disappointing others. Guilt or shame proneness. Overall, “shame is considered the more painful emotion because one’s core self—not simply one’s behavior—is at stake”. Self-compassion. Self-compassion entails offering kindness, patience, and understanding to oneself during times of failure or disappointment. Individuals high in self-compassion recognize that others go through similar experiences and feel connected rather than isolated during times of pain. (They) neither ignore nor ruminate about their own shortcomings. Differentiation of self. Read more.

Leadership, Heaven, and the Love of God

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153 AD) was the greatest Christian leader in Western Christendom in the 12th century. He was a very active abbot with a “sphere of influence” over tens of thousands throughout Europe. I spent a good part of my annual retreat last week pondering just one of the insights from his sermons on the Song of Songs  — that our thirst for God, and His love, only increases through eternity!     All I could think of was what a contrast this was to the leadership seminars and books we promote in our day. Bernard writes that in heaven: We find satiety (i.e. the state of being full beyond the point of satisfaction) without the sense of having indulged too much. We find a desire to penetrate deeper that which is never quenched, yet which has no sense of unrest about it. We experience the eternal and incomprehensible desire that knows no. Read more.

A Prayer for Guidance

I preached on “Saying ‘Yes’ to the Wind of the Spirit” last Sunday, and had wanted to expound on this great prayer by Thomas Merton (1915-1968). I was only able to do so at the end of the third service due to time constraints. The impact on many was surprisingly powerful. So here it is for your prayerful enjoyment with God. My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not sense the road ahead of me. Nor do I really know myself, And the fact that I think I am following your will 
does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you 
does in fact please you. And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this,
 You will lead me by the right road, though I may know. Read more.

Reflections on the Interior Life: A View from the Monastery

We recently hosted a Trappist monk at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC named Father Williams .  What made him such a gift to us was not his eloquence, his well-crafted sermons, his cleverness, or capacity as a leader. His prayer life, his walk with Jesus, his interior life with God built over many years pulled us toward Jesus in a very different way. It was transformative to be around him. He spoke as one “with authority,” (even though he uses an I-Pad!) The following are a few of my personal summary insights out of our time together that I have been reflecting on: There is no greater gift in the universe than to have a desire for the Triune God. Loving God for His own sake is God’s heart for us. God takes us where we are, not where we are not. Contemplation is awe and wonder in the face of God.. Read more.