Leading from a place of wholeness

“Out of 1,050 pastors surveyed, 90% were frequently fatigued; 89% had considered leaving the ministry, and 71% are affected by depression; 77% felt they did not have a good marriage, and 75% felt unqualified and/or poorly trained to lead or manage the church, or to counsel others.”
Jacqueline Peart examines how pain and hurt affect leadership style, and shares the steps leaders can take so that they lead from a place of emotional and spiritual wholeness
The audience applauded, listening eagerly with open hearts, ready to hear what I would say next as I shared at a Women’s Conference nearly five years ago. All of a sudden, instead of a pearl of wisdom or revelation proceeding, the hurt I thought had been well covered and taken care of was leaking. I looked at the women, but found myself in tears; not because I was moved or because I was recounting blessings or stories of God’s grace and compassion. No, these tears had been buried under words like, “Well, I’m trusting God,” “I’ve forgiven them and I’m moving on”, “It’s all a part of the call,” or “I’ve given it to God” as a plethora of Scripture followed. All these are true sentiments that I live and believe, but at that point in my life, I hadn’t truly released the pain of a negative encounter I had experienced earlier that year.
I found myself ministering from a place of hurt and not healing, and in those moments God allowed the tears to fall so that the pain could be exchanged with His healing balm. So what happened? Why didn’t I speak to someone? Where was my faith? Wasn’t I standing on the Word? The questions could go on.
My life’s purpose – and passion – is to equip leaders and individuals to live, lead and grow in wholeness through Christ Jesus. So I felt that I should have moved on by then. Why didn’t I speak to someone sooner? Because there are times as a leader when you don’t know who to talk to about sensitive issues.
You can’t always speak with your family, as you don’t want to burden them or because of confidentiality; you can’t always speak to those you are leading and, dare I say it, you can’t or don’t always want to speak to some of your peers for fear of judgment or misunderstanding. The result is that many leaders carry on leading and hurting.
Dr Krejcir – a pastor himself, writing on behalf of the Schaeffer Institute – reported that out of 1,050 pastors surveyed, 90% were frequently fatigued; 89% had considered leaving the ministry at one time, and 71% are affected by depression; 77% felt they did not have a good marriage, and 75% felt unqualified and/or poorly trained to lead or manage the church, or to counsel others.
Yet there are solutions. Whole leaders are the way forward, leading from a place of confidence in the knowledge of who you are in Christ; celebrating your uniqueness without comparison or competition; managing your emotions and conflict effectively, and understanding how to use your experience, strengths and weaknesses appropriately, whilst walking in integrity. When we can do all of this through Christ Jesus, we achieve balance and lead in wholeness, and empower others to do the same.
So how do we become whole leaders?
1. Repent for where we have knowingly or unknowingly been leading and hurting. This may mean asking forgiveness from those, who may have been affected by our actions or behaviour.
2. Ask God to heal you, and work with ministries with an expertise in healing and wholeness to move you forward.
3. Entertain the fact that there may be some areas of your life that need wholeness maintenance. Just like your car needs to be maintained in every area, so do we as leaders. Why this point? Because I constantly meet leaders who are ‘OK’; it’s everyone else that has a challenge!
4. Don’t stop learning about yourself and your wholeness. So often we take the time to develop our generic leadership skills in the form of conferences and reading, but I want to encourage you to attend programmes that help you lead from a place of wholeness and thus a place of empowerment.
5. Critically check your relationships. Do you have people in your life that are willing to challenge you and not just encourage you? We need people who will say NO and cause us to think about our actions and behaviours. Just because we are the leader doesn’t mean that we are always right.
6. Be willing to be wrong. We live in a world where everything goes, and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. I’ve learned that being wrong doesn’t make you a weaker leader; it makes you stronger!
7. Celebrate you. This one might not be popular, but here goes. We can become so busy and target-driven (even though purposeful) that we don’t have time to celebrate who God has made us to be and what He is doing in our lives. The plans, targets, meetings, sermon notes, writing, etc, will always be there, but being thankful carries you much further!
8. Exercise balance – REST!!!
Jacqueline Peart is a teacher, mentor, author, poet and inspirational speaker, and is the founder of DCUD Ministries and The Wholeness Academy. Visit www.wholenessacademy.org for more details

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