Recently I was doing something I’ve done hundreds of times over the last 25 years—listening to retreatants share their stories of encounter with God after they’ve engaged in what we call “EPC” (extended personal communion with God). It’s our way of talking about the practice of solitude, silence and prayer. The power of EPC as a way of talking about solitude and the living encounter with God, as well as community rooted in such practices, is a powerful testimony.
What impressed me is that we’ve trained leaders in this practice in basically the same way for 25 years. So often leaders think that the big need is something innovative and new. That is sometimes the case. But the new is often the fruit of deep roots in the tried and true. I realize that often when I am teaching, speaking or writing, I am communicating old truths and perhaps fresh ways. Some have said that I’m “not saying anything new.” I’m not. I’m trying to say something old and reliable that has been fruitful in my life and leadership.
So creativity is not always the same as innovation. What I am trying to share is often the intangible fruit of my own soul spiritual leadership transformation. I am sharing my life—and my life is in Jesus. I’m not trying to be religious or syrupy. I’m trying to describe something real for me.
I’m not trying to be self-important. I actually believe this is a way of life and leadership that Jesus is inviting each of us into wherever we find ourselves. I have been on a kind of long obedience in the same direction that has produced certain abiding realities in my life and leadership. There are many who are better leaders than me, but I’m grateful to be free to share simple and life-giving insights that are fruitful for me.
This deep abiding enables me to overcome temptations to anxiety, fear, self-doubt or insecurity, and instead speak and lead from places of deep peace, holy confidence, and security and courage in Jesus.