Great leaders don’t burn out, they burn on. Great leaders learn they not only feed their followers, they learn to feed themselves. In March Willow Creek sent me an e-mail about their upcoming Lift Project classes and that they were looking for bloggers to blog about the course. When they offered a free course for those who would blog, I applied … and was accepted.
That offer has led to my enrollment in my first online class ever, The Leader’s Soul. The 7 week class seeks to not only assess the health of one’s soul, but to develop habits and practices that keep one’s soul healthy.
Last week the course began (4/9) and the first week is an invitation to understand soul health and even more to evaluate one’s own soul’s condition. Two key questions in the assessment were:
1) My symptoms of soul neglect.
2) My symptoms of soul health.
Comparing the answers to those 2 left me wondering why do I allow soul neglect when I see the benefit of soul health? Yet there they were right in front of me. Soul neglect that leads to fatigue, prone to anger, rising frustration, lower compassion, just seeking to get things done to get on to the next project.
Compare that to soul health for me: Energy. Sensing promptings of the Holy Spirit. Caring Grace filled. Leading well out of rest.
Why soul neglect instead of soul health? Good question. Hope to dig deeper into that answer in the weeks ahead. One realization I came away with was soul health is a moment by moment decision in living out of the Spirit’s presence.
As lead instructor Mindy Caliguire shared her own soul health story from Jesus words in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” She sensed Jesus saying, “What part of nothing did you not understand?”
You can’t be fruitful if you neglect your soul. Most of us know that in our heads, just forget to make it a priority in our lives.
So I invite you in the weeks ahead to join me as I blog about the course. I wanted to take the course for 2 reasons: to feed my soul and hopefully to feed yours. Perhaps as well you’ll enjoy the taste of the Lift project and the Leader’s Soul class, and sign up the next time it is offered.
Already in the first week I have enjoyed the blend of video teaching, the article on soul health we read, and the interaction in the discussion forum for our class. We are on an adventure together to feed our souls and even more be fed by the One who gives our soul His presence and power.
So where do you find your soul a bit hungry today? What feeds your soul to bring forth your best for God?