Leadership: A Work of Heart

Reflections on 

A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders

Author: Reggie McNeal

What is spiritual leadership?

“The first order of responsibility for spiritual leaders: to reflect the heart of God to the people around them (XIV).”

I’ve come to understand that the first person that I must lead is myself. Self-leadership includes everything from the way I focus my mind, nurture my body, and care for my soul and spiritual well-being, to the discipline in which I pursue my purpose.

When it comes to leadership, you must put your heart in it. The lesson from this book is: “When a leader loses heart, he [or she] loses (xix).” Life is difficult and challenging for every one of us. While some challenges and days are more difficult than others, it is certain that all of us will struggle in this world. When confronting their grief at the reality of his own death, Jesus words to his disciples was this: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33 NIV).” I love that in our English translations, there is the coordinating conjunction “but” in this sentence. In this sentence the word “but” connects and contrasts the trouble of this world with the proper response to take heart. Taking heart is an intentional act and it affirms the hope we have in Jesus. Jesus has overcome this world! In him, we are victorious and can therefore, live as champions in spite of the world’s troubles.

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Wilderness: Meditation and Truth

David suffered many wilderness experiences throughout his life. He never failed to tell God how he really felt. He praised and rejoiced. He was sad and lonely. He was discouraged and sorrowful. He was victorious and pensive. He was at peace while wrestling. He was a warrior and servant. He was a king and son. He was a mortal man like you and me. He understood the “stuff” of this life and how it could be discouraging, all consuming, and sometimes, flat out hard. Because we understand the realities of life in a fallen world, we can take comfort in the truth found in the Psalms of David. Through the Psalms, we can learn to meditate on God, speak with him intimately, and share our hearts as friends.

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Wilderness: Come, Find Rest for Your Soul

I thank God because in the most difficult times, I know he can still speak. Although we serve the all powerful, grand, all knowing God who is much bigger than ourselves, he is also the God who is personal, intimate, and ever present, even when we don’t fell like it.

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