Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

By our Love, by our Love…Love one another.

Written by: on March 16, 2023

John 13:35 says: “This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”  One another shows up 100 times in the new testament of the Bible, and Love one another 18 times.  What a powerful commandment.  As I read Simon P. Walker’s “ˆLeading out of who you are: Discovering the Secret of Undefended Leadership”, the old song I sang at camp as a child: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love” kept replaying in my mind.  As I’ve entered this reconstruction phase of my faith journey it is the action, the “Show me the money” [1]part of mine and other faith.  We are in a space and time where our youth want authenticity.  It’s the “ya, great, I’m glad that’s what you say you believe, now show me you believe this”.  Our youth are bringing us to our knees in humility with the great ask of authenticity, be who you say you are and PROVE IT!   “Leadership is about who you are, not what you know or what skills you have. Why is this? There are two reasons: Leadership is about trust and it’s about power.” [2]

What is power, how do I get it, how do I keep it and for all goodness sake, how do I not let it take me over?  In Simon Walker’s work on leadership, I found resonance with his understanding that Leadership requires in “Integrity, courage and compassion exercise: by listing a leader you admire: A leader you don’t admire and yourself” and give them and yourself a rating of 0-10 in each category of Integrity, courage and compassion”. [3]  I have found in all my years of leadership how easy it is to turn to making decisions out of scarcity and not abundance.  A desperate need to hold onto power.  I am currently working within a system that is making decisions out of scarcity and it’s heartbreaking, because I smell captain fear at the helm.

One concept out of this whole book that I completely agree with in Leadership is Trust.  People will not follow you with out trust so how do we create a culture of trust?  In my experience, in every support group I have led, whether it’s a grief group or support group, or mental health support, it all begins with trust.  Parker Palmer is my go-to guru for building a culture and environment of trust.  He utilizes touchstones that are spoken and followed as rules for each session with a circle of trust and I even utilized one from his book Hidden Wholeness as a title to a blog.  Here are these touchstones:

  1. Extend and Receive Welcome: practice hospitality.
  2. Be present as fully as possible: Be here with your doubts, fears, and failings as well as your convictions, joys and successes, your listening as well as your speaking.
  3. What is offered in the circle of trust is by invitation, not demand. This is not a ‘share or die” event!
  4. Speak your truth is ways that respect other people’s truth. Our views of reality may differ, but speaking one’s truth into the circle of trust does not mean interpreting, correcting, or debating what they say. Use “I” statements.
  5. No fixing, no saving, no advising and no setting each other straight. Most difficult guideline for those in a helping profession. But it is vital rule if we wish to make a space that welcomes the soul, the inner teacher.
  6. Learn to respond to others with honest, open questions instead of counsel or corrections. We help “hear each other into  deeper speech”.
  7. When the going get’s rough turn to inquiry and wonder!
  8. Attend to your own inner teacher. Pay attention to your own responses and reactions to your most important teacher, yourself.
  9. Trust and learn from the Silence. Treat silence as an equal member of the group…don’t rush to speak into it.
  10. Observe deep confidentiality.
  11. Know that it is possible to leave the circle with whatever it was that you needed when you arrived.[4]

Please look into these guidelines, they are life changing.  As a Chaplain, I do not do the saving, I sit present to them listening to their own quiet shy soul.  This is leadership. What if our world leaders took these touchstones seriously…What if?  Parker Palmer, Simon Walker and the Bible had it right…it is by our actions and living in to who we are, not what we are, that we will change the world.  Love one another, and they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.

[1] Jerry McGuire directed by Cameron Crowe, (1996) United States: Tristar Productions.


[2] Walker, Simon P. Leading out of Who you are: Discovering the Secret of Undefended Leadership. England, Piquant Editions, 2007. Pg 5


[3] Ibid, pg 11.


[4] Palmer, Parker. A Hidden Wholeness; The Journey Toward An Undivided Life in a Wounded World. San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass, 2008. Pg 217.

About the Author


Jana Dluehosh

Jana serves as a Spiritual Care Supervisor for Signature Hospice in Portland, OR. She chairs the corporate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging committee as well as presents and consults with chronically ill patients on addressing Quality of Life versus and alongside Medical treatment. She has trained as a World Religions and Enneagram Spiritual Director through an Anam Cara apprenticeship through the Sacred Art of Living center in Bend, OR. Jana utilizes a Celtic Spirituality approach toward life as a way to find common ground with diverse populations and faith traditions. She has mentored nursing students for several years at the University of Portland in a class called Theological Perspectives on Suffering and Death, and has taught in the Graduate Counseling program at Portland Seminary in the Trauma Certificate program on Grief.

15 responses to “By our Love, by our Love…Love one another.”

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Thank you for this post, Jana! Love and authenticity should not be kept hidden. I agree that the youth today crave authenticity and proof. Thank you also for highlighting Parker Palmer’s book and your 11 touchstone take-aways. So powerful when practiced. In the exercise you mentioned, who was the leader you most admire? How did/do they manage power?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Very good question Jenny! I had to answer this question in my Celtic training and I chose 5 based off of a wheel of elements. So to the north, the fire, I chose my friend who died in her 20’s and Saint Brigid for their fierce and passionate leadership as women. In Earth in the west and those who bring me a sense of grounding I chose my mom who is the most humble and understated leader, but as I watch my dad’s front stage leadership we all acknowledge he is where he is because she was holding him accountable and reflecting his public and private persona. To the south, was water and I chose a mentor from College who was the first to recognize my call to Leadership and to the East, with Air was recognizing the Holy Spirit as Leader for me, a relationship that is more challenging for me:)

  2. mm Kim Sanford says:

    Your post does a great job weaving together the character and the skills of a leader. You talk about the need for integrity which makes us trustworthy as leaders. For the authenticity and the “prove it” mentality of the younger generation (and many who are not so young…like myself!). Then you shared some best practices, touchstones as Parker Palmer calls them (I think I need to look into Parker Palmer – you’re the second person to reference him to me recently). And I love that you brought it all back together and called it love. That makes me wonder, can we really love those we serve without doing the hard work of character development? Can an untrustworthy leader truly be loving and serving well? It would seem not.

    • mm Pam Lau says:

      Great question! Just last week we were out to dinner with friends who are building a marriage ministry at their church with 30 couples. Throughout the conversation, I heard a few times how difficult it is for our friends to share openly and honestly with those they serve. Toward the end of our dinner as the honest question was forming in my heart I asked, “Do you think it’s truly the CHURCH if we aren’t experiencing genuine love and relationship when we are ministering?” We just all sat with that question. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

        I think about this a lot Pam. As someone who grew up in what I call the “fishbowl” of a ministry family, meaning my life was open to their viewing and comments, and being a pastor myself, I always felt that the church has taken the old way of being critical of leaders (and their families). When my grandfather was a pastor, and even my dad, they aren’t “friends” with the church goers. Part of this seems to be out of self preservation as Pastors don’t stay forever. True and authentic friend ship and love is probably the greatest challenge in pastoral ministry. My dad is 72 and retiring this summer and moving to Oregon with us. My encouragement for him is to start working on friendships, true and honest friendships that are equal footing. Wonder how he’ll do? Can you learn how to make friends that late? I’ll let you know.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I agree Kim, I think all of this goes back to knowing ourselves as we’ve been reading this semester. I don’t know if we can truly forgive others without forgiving ourselves, loving others when we don’t love ourselves. If we are to challenge others to their best selves, or to be followers of Jesus, then it can only come from those who can do that for themselves too. Character is as Character does, right?

  3. mm Pam Lau says:

    This week you and Matthieu both do a wonderful job of reminding us about the power of listening. What strikes me is how Palmer’s instruction to move into the wonder rather than offer advice is exactly how we are trained in mediation. You wrote your post with passion and mission. I am wondering if you are seeing something in your own work or life that prompted your focus on listening well?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      My ministry context has been 100% about this way of being. As a Chaplain I serve all sort’s of people of all faith traditions or no faith traditions at all. I come in and support them in their work and where their source of meaning come from, so to stay “safe” I rarely share my own faith unless it is asked of me, and even then I have to be very careful of what I am vulnerable enough to share. It is important to know because if someone is suffering, they don’t always like the quiet reflection I bring, it leads them into vulnerability so if I share something I’m working on or struggling with, it allows them to deflect from their own pain and now put that energy into fixing me which does not help them get to where they need to go. I think there is a difference between vulnerability and self-disclosure.

  4. Kally Elliott says:

    I love Parker Palmer’s Circle of Trust format. I did a retreat on this a few years ago but could really use a refresher course.

    A co-worker was talking about facilitating groups the other day and she said she always tells her groups not to respond to a question right away but to give a 30 second silent pause. This helps you to hear your own words before you speak them. I tend to process out loud – which can lead to great authenticity because everyone gets to hear how my brain is working! But, the unedited version can also just be convoluted and disorganized causing confusion rather than clarity. To give myself 30 seconds to hear my own words before I speak might make it so that when I’m lying in bed later that night I don’t find myself ruminating over what I said…going, “UGH! Why did I say that?!?!”

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      What I love about all of these touchstones, is that is places everyone on the same page and same level! So even as a facilitator, I can model and need to follow these touchstones as well and if done well, it allows trust to grow and be nurtured! It allows a leader to express vulnerability without judgement or being fixed. It has been completely freeing to facilitate groups this way. I provide a co-worker support group for all the nurses, CNA’s, SW , Chaplains and leaders (they never come), probably because there is not trust yet or completely both ways, this group is call Grief, Gripe and Gratitude. It gives us opportunity to hear each other, and even if you don’t share, it hopefully brings about reminders that we are not alone in this journey!!

  5. Cathy Glei says:

    I couldn’t resonate with your statement more. . . . “Our youth are bringing us to our knees in humility with the great ask of authenticity, be who you say you are and PROVE IT!” In my NPO research, I have heard this coming through loud and clear from the voices of young adults deconstructing their faith. It has also been shared that this thought comes from a generation that tends to display life on social media for a world to see. As you consider authenticity and vulnerability, should there be parameters on the content shared, as well as the how and with whom?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I think there is a difference between self-disclosure and vulnerability. I have come to believe that sharing active problems or concerns brings about judgement and criticism that I don’t believe our young people know how to deal with due to not knowing themselves very well yet. I think in active issues and problems, it’s finding your people close to you to help you through it, and then at some point perhaps sharing it as a point of connection to others, such as I see you are going through this, I have too! You can do it, becoming mentors of sorts for each other. Creating normalization of what we all go through. What do you think? I wish we could equip our children more with the resilience of making mistakes and how to help their friends when they make mistakes. We tend to post the “best” of us, and not really vulnerability. Man, it’s a tough world for them.

  6. mm Tim Clark says:

    “I have found in all my years of leadership how easy it is to turn to making decisions out of scarcity and not abundance.”

    This is so true. This is a constant struggle in our church, and in my own life. I think living from an abundant mentality vs. a scarcity one is one way to a non-anxious presence.

    I also loved the list from Palmer. Brilliant. I need to go dust off my copy of “A Hidden Wholeness”.


    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I was in a workshop once called what church revitalizers can learn from church planters. It was life changing information for me around scarcity and abundance. In it they drew an x. At the top left it said church members 100 and budget of 100,000. Bottom left was the church plant with 0 members and 0 dollars. One was headed upwards and the other downing membership and funds. Until they met in the middle of the x axis with 50 members and 50,000. For the older church this was devastating and the church plant empowering! They have same numbers and same budget but their mindset was different, one was excited for the future and the other caught up in grief. So lesson is, if we can change our mindset out of scarcity and acknowledge grief, but change our mindset, the dying church has a chance to turn around and celebrate like the church planters! What if our dying churches could operate out of that abundance! What if our healthcare system could operate out of abundance and not scarcity! Our world could change…I think it’s a lot harder then it seems, but what a great concept!

  7. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:

    I love these 11 touchstones. I have not read Hidden Wholeness, but I am adding it to my next Amazon shipment. Thank you for introducing me to it. #9
    Trust and learn from the Silence. Treat silence as an equal member of the group…don’t rush to speak into it.
    This is the most powerful lesson that I have learned, and I still need reminding from time to time. Thank you.

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