Emma Andrews, young professional, wife and mother:
Someone once talked about discipleship and leadership in terms of gathering or observing people who want learn from you or just simply spend time with you. . . . It has really helped me to understand the way I relate to people and how I am a leader. It obviously isn’t the definitive definition, but I found it a good place to start.
I have felt called for a long time to the workplace, and my immediate thought was that to “lead” in the work place was to be a manger. People management, however, has only been my role for some of my career; much of my time has been spent working in teams. My reflection recently has been that leadership and community does not have to be (and probably for most of us isn’t) confined to groups of Christians. This, though, is something I have only just realized recently, even though I think I’ve been doing what I do for years. Leadership and community for many of us is quite often just “being who we are” in our daily lives. For me that is work. I realized that I am able to gather people and grow community at work—in fact I find it easier to do it at work than anywhere else. Considering it is often the place we spend most of our time, I have found that it is the place that can often lack community and balance more than anywhere.
This has been something that I was quite worried about when I became a mum. Where would I find people now? Much of my experience and, to a certain extent, my identity was linked to work. Yes, it’s been a change; yes it’s been a challenge. Not because community has been hard to find! I’ve learned again, as I was told in the first place, just to be me, seeking the opportunities that people will gather and follow. Jesus attracts people. We can build a community, and we can lead, whatever the season. It isn’t always obvious, it isn’t always (and is sometimes never) at the front, but it is always fun and rewarding and so often surprising. It isn’t always big, but just a few people sharing life brings so many opportunities for the kingdom.
Now I’m heading back to work, another new season, and I am excited!
Lizzy Robinson, church leader and mother of three:
Don’t try to walk other people journeys: be yourself and true to who God has made you to be; every person’s journey is different.
Jo Saxton is a pastor, missional leader, speaker, and author. She is the board chair of 3D Movements and author of High Heels and Holiness and Real God, Real Life. Taken from More Than Enchanting by Jo Saxton. Copyright Second Edition 2016 by Jo Saxton. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426. www.ivpress.com