Yesterday’s post, the Heart of the Leader, asked these questions when considering the Heart of a leader.
How has your culture shaped your view of God’s agenda in the world?
What is your life mission?
What family of origin issues contribute positively or negatively to your leadership?
Leadership is not easy but it is necessary for the life and health of any team or organization. Leader’s tend to focus more on the output, the doing, and producing, rather than the inner stuff, the being, and becoming. These questions help a leader build a path towards heart health and avoid heart drift. A leader’s heart drifts when they focus too much on doing over being.
More Questions that help form the Heart…
How do you evaluate your time with God?
Time alone with God has been practiced by many for thousands of years. This time is critical for what one writer calls, “sharpening the saw.” Silence, solitude, listening, writing, walking, and simply being at the outset of most days has a way of strengthening the heart of a leader. The prophet Haggai has a powerful image of God telling us to consider our ways, “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5-6). It would be a dreadful thing to realize that you can be working as hard as you can and God could have his hand on the valve of satisfaction and the spigot is running dry. My time with God has been experiencing some transitions. I am wondering a lot about the benefit of ministering out of one’s sweet spot and on one’s time with God. I simply feel busy all the time and thus don’t feel like I am spending quality time. It is much harder to commune with God when doing is the first thought of your day and then I tend to get down on myself. Do you have a built in rhythm of solitude and quietness? What are your favorite ways to reorient your heart towards God?
How do you respond to conflict?
Conflict is a regular occurrence for a leader. It is like breakfast, it typically comes daily. Some days you miss breakfast and some days a leader is fortunate enough to skip conflict. Leaders whose hearts are in drift may tend to avoid conflict and blame it on the goal of making harmony happen. That is a mirage. If our hearts are out of sync, conflict will tear us up and the team with it. Leaders whose hearts are centered on God deal with conflicts from the other person’s perspective. They have the same mind as that of Jesus (Phil 2:4-5). My dad taught me that one of the best lessons to learn is to deal wisely with people. I have worked at people development and conflict resolution throughout my entire ministry career. I am not the best and may not know all the book stuff steps like in Peacemaker but I think I innately carry most of them out. I am learning not to take conflict personally but learn and grow from it. Do you think having a strong and centered heart will help a leader work through conflict? How do you work through conflict with others?
How do you experience God in the commonplace?
It has already been said that intentional time with God is important. However, it is also important to experience God in the everyday life situations and drama. Otherwise our lives might become compartments where we give time to God and then mistakenly give time for our pursuits and separate the two. They are one in the same. Few authors capture this ability better than Ken Gire. He has written extensively on this topic: Windows of the Soul, Seeing what is Sacred, The Reflective Life, and Reflections on the Movies are a few of the ones that have encouraged me. My personality experiences God in preaching and singing not always in the common place. However, I am finding that as I raise kids that I am seeing movies, TV, radio, marketing, etc. from God’s perspective and communicating God’s values to my kids. I want them to do as I am trying to do and seek to see God in all of life. To a God-centered person, worship is all of life. Do you often take the time to see God in the everyday? What have you done to try to decompartmentalize your life and make it one whole life under God?