Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership – Seeking God in the crucible of ministry By Ruth Hayley Barton
Your first reaction maybe ‘I’m not a church leader’, but many of us are leading families, house groups, Sunday school, youth groups, anywhere you have to work with others to make decisions. Based on the life of Moses the author shows how he got the children of Israel to the edge of the promised land.
The word ‘crucible’ means, ‘a set of circumstances where people are subjected to forces that test them and often
makes them change’. Which of us hasn’t experienced that? Set out in chapters of discussion and ending in practice; this is not a book to romp through. One benefits most if one works through slowly learning the milestones of Moses’s life.
The author challenges our motivations, our ability to hear God, indeed our willingness to sit quietly with him, listen to his
instructions, and above all his heart for us. She deals with our failures, showing that God never gives up on us. Ruth speaks of recognising the initial call, the ability to accept our limitations and the awareness of working with team. Jethro reprimands Moses for trying to do it all by himself which reminds us that none of us can function properly unless we have periods of rest and relaxation. ‘There is an energy that comes from being rested which is different from the energy of being driven’. The author reminds us that leading anything can be lonely whether it is business, or church programmes. Moses said ’I am not able to carry all this people alone for they are too heavy for me’; jobs
can grow, people can grumble, resulting of feelings of isolation. The author points out this can lead to costly mistakes if we go on alone. Prayer together can bring shared wisdom. God’s
announcement that Moses would not enter the ‘promised land’ because he had not shown God’s holiness by striking the rock in anger can lead us to feel this is unfair. Moses does not show resentment but rather went on to further bless the children of Israel. Maybe he recognised that his part of the task was complete.