The Journey Blog

Reflections on the art of leading

Recovery and Restoration for Pastors

A friend once shared a concept with me about missionary service being like convalescence prescribed by the Great Physician. We typically think of ministry and mission as a heroic thing we do for Jesus. It is good to think instead that our service to Jesus is convalescence. It's like rehab: a time of returning to health. It is something he designs and orchestrates over and above every organized thing we do to advance our spiritual recovery. If the service he calls us to is for our health then it's also authentic: having the marks of the Spirit in us. So it is also winsome, and it brings him glory.

Here is a story in which I had the sense of being the Physician's assistant.

During his kick-off retreat a church planter I'm coaching gained a much clearer awareness of his particular struggles—things that have been holding him back. Through the coaching process we went well beyond the data he'd received from his church planting assessment and began exploring his unique way of leading and how it can be used in the embryonic church he is developing. It was powerful to see him thinking of leadership less as the narrow paradigm in his head—and trying to conform to that—and more as the way he most naturally and freely offers his heart. The hope and excitement in his voice and heart were evident as he began to envision a way to lead that fits him well and helps him to form and implement good plans.

This is what I mean by "connecting your heart with your work".