LEADERSHIP NEWSLETTER JULY 2014

Who are You?

Recently, I was hoping to intentionally direct the staff I lead into some team building, so I brought in a psychologist to walk the entire crew through a personality assessment and accompanying discussion of the results. In the meeting set aside to share what each person learned, with a bit of nervous laughter, the staff revealed key findings about themselves. When my turn to share came around, I shuffled around the completed inventory test results in front of me and announced that I was a goal-oriented person who likes to achieve specified goals and lead people toward results. The staff laughed—loudly!! Sarcastically toned comments like “really” and “we never knew that before” bantered around the room for the next few minutes. Frankly, I laughed too because at deep levels I am a doer.

But my doing can often get in the way of me being.

That’s why I was struck hard—really hard­—by John Ortberg’s words in the book, “Living in Christ’s Presence.”  He writes,

At about that time, we had an extended time off, so I took a day to visit Dallas and June (Willard). We had a long talk. At one point, I asked, “Dallas, how can I help people in my church grow spiritually, because I would really like for it to be happening more than it is. What do I need to do?”

Dallas’s immediate response was, “You must arrange your life so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with God.”

My first thought was, I didn’t ask about me. I asked how I could help people at my church grow—what’s the book they should read, what’s the program we should put them through, what are the services we should have?

He said, “The main thing that you bring to the church is the person you become, and that’s what everybody will see; that’s what will get reproduced; that’s what people will believe. Arrange your life so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with God.” That’s not the elder’s job, and that’s not my wife’s job, and that’s not my friend’s job, and that’s not my congregation’s job, and that’s not my staff’s job. It is not okay for me to wait until everything in my church or my world or my life achieves a certain level of resolution. That’s life within the Trinity. If I want to move toward that, the outcome is a growing community of supernatural love in constant interaction with the members of the Trinity.

So for all you doers, achievers, and producers (and probably everyone else), let me simply repeat these words (and I encourage you to repeat them to yourself every day for the next week). “The main thing that you bring to the church is the person you become… Arrange your life so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life with God.”

Enough doing; let’s start becoming.

May God truly lead you as you lead others.

Dan Hamil, Ed.D.
Executive Director (Interim)
North American Baptists, Inc.

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