Ruth Haley Barton says there is a dark side to leadership. A church planting coach I recently heard, says that the biggest issue church planters and young leaders have to face is their past emotional baggage. When leadership seems oppressive, difficult and emotionally taxing, what dark habits will emerge in your life? What old emotional baggage will resurface in your life without warning?
I believe this happens. I’ve seen it happen in my own life. It’s a real problem, and Barton, in her book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, says that the only solution is solitude and silence. It is only when we stop and practice Sabbath and silence that we can deal with the dark side of our soul. Quoting Parker Palmer, she reminds us that the soul is shy. We are vulnerable and insecure human beings, and the chaos and demanding nature of leadership causes our souls to shrink back into hiding. Only in silence will they emerge.
This is why, I believe rest is so important. We are all leaders in some part of our lives, and we all need to rest. It’s one of our core values, and this Sunday at New City, we’ll be talking about the importance of Sabbath as a part of our weekly rhythm. If we want to grow into the people God has made us to be, we must be people who rest. I hope you’ll join us!