If you had one message you could travel all over the world and deliver to Christians and Christian churches, what would that one message be? In my 37 years with The Navigators, I heard Lorne Sanny (president of The Navigators for thirty years) say his one message would be the essentiality of spending time alone with God.
A few weeks ago I had lunch with Alan Fadling, author of “An Unhurried Life.” It turns out that he lives just a few minutes from our home. In our delightful time together, he mentioned a book to me that he felt I would profit from reading.
I just finished reading this book (a very good book) that underscores Lorne’s one message that he would give. The title of the book is: The Spiritual Formation of Leaders, by Chuck Miller.
Just today I posted a book note on this book (available under the “Book Notes” tab on my blog site davekraft.org).
May I encourage you as a leader to read the book note and then purchase the book. It may well be the most formative book you read in 2014.
Let me share just two concepts that Chuck shares in this insightful and sobering book.
1. Soul Room and Leadership Room
Chuck encourages his readers to think of good biblical leadership being lived out in two rooms.
The soul room is where you go to nurture and nourish your personal walk with the Trinity; where you build on your identity in Christ and move deeper in your intimacy with Christ.
The Leadership room is where you carry out your God-given purpose, values and vision.
Think of the soul room as the room in which you develop your walk with the Lord, and the leadership room where you carry out the work of the Lord.
The ministry needs to start in the Soul Room and flow into the Leadership Room. Chuck points out over and over that too many leaders see the Soul Room as secondary instead of primary for a fruitful and God-pleasing ministry. They neglect the Soul Room and spend most of their time in the Leadership Room.
"Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number." Jeremiah 2:32 (ESV).
The pitcher is God, I am the cup, the saucer represents those closest to me (my team) and the plate is the next circle out: those the team is trying to influence for the King. As a Leader, I need to have God pouring into me. The overflow of that touches the people around me (the saucer) and then together we impact the Plate (others we want to minister to). What often happens, which leads to burnout and giving up for many leaders, is that there is precious little time in the Soul Room, allowing God to pour into my life. My cup is dry/empty and I have little that can overflow onto the saucer and then the plate.
I learned a lot from this book and was reminded again of how important it is for me to spend plenty of time with the Master in the Soul Room. This will enrich me, deepen me, and lead me in what takes place in the Leadership Room.
To be honest, I find it hard to concentrate when I am in the Soul Room. My mind is always active. I am easily distracted. I am strongly tempted to “get to the work,” rather than learn how to rest in the finished work of Christ; to trust him for the kind of fruit He wants to see, and to see it according to his time-table; not mine!
Soul Room/Leadership Room. Pitcher>Cup>Saucer>Plate.
What Chuck shares in his marvelous book are simple and foundational concepts that I fear many leaders constantly violate in their crazy schedules and misplaced priorities.
Read the Book Note…order and read the book. This may be one of the best decisions you make.