I’m re-reading Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton for the third time in 2015. No book has brought such transformational change to my leadership and walk with Christ as this one. I’ll be doing a full review of the book later this week. Here’s a profound excerpt from page 118:
A recent survey of twenty thousand Christians around the world revealed that many identify busyness and constant overload as a major distraction from God. Michael Zigarelli, who conducted this survey from his post as associate professor of management at the Charleston University School of Business, describes “a vicious cycle” prompted by cultural conformity. He says, “It may be the case that 1) Christians are assimilating a culture of busyness, hurry and overload, which leads to 2) God becoming more marginalized in Christians’ lives, which leads to 3) a deteriorating relationship with God, which leads to 4) Christians becoming even more vulnerable to adopting secular assumption about how to live, which leads to 5) more conformity to a culture of busyness, hurry and overload. And then the cycle begins again.
What motivates your busyness and overload?
For me it’s a twisted irony:
“I love ministry so much I’m going to do so much of it that I become so busy and overloaded that I hate ministry and want to quit altogether!”
It’s pretty hard to enjoy God when you are hating ministry, yet as a minister my calling is to help others enjoy God. How can one help others enjoy something that they themselves are not enjoying?
What I’ve found so freeing about Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership is its ability to help me accurately identify what fuels my overdrive to overload and then to give practical (and essential!) ways to make sure God isn’t becoming marginalized in my life at the expense of all the pressing tasks around me. More to come on that later this week.
Are you too busy?
Are you enjoying God?
The answer to the first probably indicates the answer to the second.