For years I heard the maxim: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to speak.” I would also add: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to lead.” Think about it: Paul, after his conversion, spent three years in a silent retreat in Arabia. Jesus spent thirty years of silence until he opened his mouth and began to teach. John the Baptist spent his adult life in the desert before he brought a word from God. Ezekiel said, “For seven days I sat in silence and was dumbfounded.” Job seven days in silence until he opened opened his mouth in anguish. Habbakkuk and Samuel waited before the Lord before they spoke. How can we learn to lead out of silence in the midst of our noisy world and churches? Slowly practice silence…. before, during, and after our words. This is a life work, and it can. Read more.
King David led out of a place of deep rest and contentment. He sang: “My cup overflows” (Ps. 23:5). Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) changes the metaphor from a cup to a reservoir. I invite you to slowly and prayerfully mediate on this photo and his words. If you are wise, therefore, you will show yourself a reservoir and not a canal. For a canal pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits till it is full before it overflows, and so communicates its surplus. We have all too few such reservoirs in the Church at present, through we have canals in plenty. . .they (canals) desire to pour out when they themselves are not yet inpoured; they are readier to speak than to listen, eager to teach that which they do not know, and most anxious to exercise authority on others, although they have not learnt to rule themselves. .. Read more.
A museum curator knows he or she can only display a very small sampling of the artifacts to depict a certain era or time period. Among the perhaps hundreds, or even thousands of possibilities in their storage area, they must choose the few that are most significant. We are much like curators. One of the most important leadership functions is to edit – whether it is in deciding what to not include when we teach/preach, the focus of a staff meeting, the most significant emphasis for a given season, or what is presented in our lobby space to represent our values and vision.