We are looking forward to the launch of the 2022 cohort of our Flourish Collective Academy. Each year, a new crop of congregational leaders come together to develop leadership capacities. As I prepare to tailor our content to the unique situation and makeup of this year’s cohort, I ran across this thought to share from one of our “textbooks,” Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, by Ruth Haley Barton.

Barton opens with by making the case that spiritual leadership is very much dependent on the state of the leader’s soul. No argument here… only hearty “Amens!” The trick of course is how might we be strengthened at the level of the soul. This is tricky because of the nature of a soul.

Quoting from Parker Palmer,

The soul is like a wild animal–tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy. It knows how to survive in hard places…. And yet the soul, despite its toughness, is also essentially shy– Just like a wild animal.  It seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out.” (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life.)

Sounds about right. There is a certain amount of courage and surrender required by leaders to attend to their soul.

Pray for our upcoming cohort of leaders and our time exploring how we might best become the kinds of leaders that serve our congregations, our city, and our world well. Pray for our facilitation over Zoom that the Lord would create an environment that is safe enough for wild creatures to eventually show up.

Geoff Hsu
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