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

Invocation and Benediction

Written by: on November 2, 2023

A beginning and an ending; an invitation and blessing.  I am called into a very specific area of life where I help people come face to face with their own mortality, their own disappointments on a life not lived or as accomplished as they hoped, or relationships broken.  I know, I know, I’m Dr. Death.  As I consider what a lowly Chaplain can do to speak into a system as large, as broken, as money driven, as science and cure driven as healthcare, I want to give up.  Our healthcare requires we address everyone’s spirituality, but spiritual care is often an afterthought.  In a seminary program like ours, I am a Christian, I am a seminary grad working in a vocational ministry calling in a very secular workspace…it weird and disorienting.  I’m in a ministry position, fighting for a leadership role in a non-ministry setting by gaining leadership learnings from a seminary!  Ahh!  I know you all know all of this as my cohort, but every once in a while, I have to sit back and say, “what am I doing and here comes the imposter syndrome”. My leadership has taken a hit this last year, it’s been overrun by personality and the horrible balance of wanting to be a relational leader who mentors and invests in helping my employees be the best versions of themselves and finding out I’ve been run over by them when things don’t go their way.

Jules Glanzer’s book The Sound of Leadership was the perfect gift to me in this time, and unfortunately, I couldn’t read cover to cover, (yet), but man did I feel so many zingers of connection with what he had to say.  Jules gave us 5 words in the beginning of the book that speaks into toward leadership: “Listen, See, Learn, Do, Love[1].”  Such 5 simple words and yet are so profound.  What an invocation into Leadership.  He then wrote a postscript, Reprise; Sovereign leadership lessons from Covid-19[2]; in this reprise he gave 5 more words that spoke to him as he fought the battle of Covid, Contentment, gratitude, simplicity, smallness and focus”[3]. These words are the blessing to the invitation of his first 5 words.

When I am helping others come to terms with end of life, after many of them have been through suffering, pain, treatments, and grasping to hope.  When I am invited in to talk with them and the family, I start at the benediction.  I ask them to imagine their last moments on earth, in fact I invite all of you to imagine your last breath.  Where are you?  Who is with you?  The answers to these questions help you live backwards.  If the answers you want to be home with your loved ones surrounding you, then that affects the decisions you make now.  At some point the next trip to the hospital ends up being the last trip to the hospital hooked up to life support, or wanting your loved ones surrounding you may mean that today you have to reconcile or take a step towards those who you may be split from to make amends now…we cannot wait.  We must live into our benediction to answer the invitation.

Jules invites us to Listen, “leadership begins with listening, first to the voice of God and then to people”[4]. In Julian Treasures book Being Heard, he speaks to the power of listening; “Listening may be a silent skill, but it has enormous power, as we’ll see in the next few pages. The quality of our listening affects our relationships, health, influence, productivity, and growth, but in our ocular society we virtually ignore this crucial skill[5].”  Once again, we must begin by listening, lesson #1 in Leadership 101 and seemingly the hardest task for most leaders and perhaps the invitation becomes an unwelcome benediction by being the beginning of ending, the derailment…they stopped listening.

See “Carefully observe the various aspects of the situation and attempt to see the situation the way God sees it”[6].  There is a lot around what we “see” in the world around us, and honestly a lot we don’t see.  At the beginning of our Doctorate, we read Henri Nouwen’s Discernment[7], my favorite chapter in this book is called “Read the Book of Nature”, Nouwen writes walking in a forest with friend and described walking in a foggy dense forest with colors and textures revealing themselves to them and walking suddenly into a clearing where they could see for miles and miles.  Oh, if only we could see our path through leadership with such clarity, but to have God as our partners on the journey we do see miles and miles, and we know where it ends, it ends in his loving arms saying, “well done good and faithful servant, the kingdom of heaven is yours[8]”.

Glazner goes on to say leadership also embraces Learn, do and love. While there is not enough time to go through all of these, I encourage us all to make sure these words also speak into our leadership.  I also challenge that we equally consider the benediction as a way to speak into our leadership now.  When we are at the end of our Leadership journey, where do we want to be and who do we hope was on this path with us?  As we consider derailment of our leadership, we must consider Jules Glanzer’s words even more poignant to lead with contentment, to lead with gratitude, to lead with simplicity, to lead with smallness and to lead with focus.  I cannot think of a better benediction then this thought as we are invited into our Doctor of Leadership learnings.

[1] Glanzer, Jules. The Sound of Leadership;Kingdom notes to fine tune your life and influence. (Texas, Invite Press, 2023) pg. 2

[2] Glazner, Jules. Pg 125

[3] Ibid, pg 128.

[4] Glanzer, Jules. The Sound of Leadership; Kingdom notes to fine tune your life and influence. (Texas, Invite Press, 2023) pg. 3

[5] Heard, Julian. How to be heard; Secrets for powerful speaking and listening. (Florida, Mango Publishing, 2017). Pg36.

[6] Glazner, Jules. Pg 4

[7] Nouwen, Henry. Discernment (New York, HarperCollins, 2013). Pg 55

[8] Matthew 25:11

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.

11 responses to “Invocation and Benediction”

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Hi Jana,
    I enjoyed your post and the theme of invocation and benediction. And once again thank you for what you do. It sounds like a very tough year of leadership for you. I appreciate how you looked ahead to other of Glanzer’s writing to give us these gifts as well, “Contentment, gratitude, simplicity, smallness and focus.” These words are the blessing to the invitation of his first 5 words.” You also posed a question or two, “When we are at the end of our Leadership journey, where do we want to be and who do we hope was on this path with us?” For me those last five words sparked an answer to the first question. Thank you for that! What about the second question. Who do you hope is on the path with you?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      you know what Jenny, I hope at the end of my Leadership journey I hope Jesus is still there with me and even more so I hope I am there with me, that I still believe in myself and feel proud of the journey:)

  2. Kally Elliott says:

    “I also challenge that we equally consider the benediction as a way to speak into our leadership now.”

    Whew! Girl! I was already feeling challenged by your question about who we want with us in our last moments of life and then you go and give us this challenge!

    I’ve been considering the ways my leadership has been derailed in the recent past and am working to re-rail my leadership. Considering your challenges here will become one of the questions I ask myself as I make decisions. You always have wisdom for me!

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Thank you Kally. I am grateful everyday for working hospice because this is exactly what it does for me as I make decisions. Living into the invitation by acknowledging the Benediction!

  3. mm Tim Clark says:

    What a great connection you make between Galnzer and your calling/vocation and NPO.

    I was thinking that your world is benediction, and mine is invocation. We have a lot of people finding Jesus and I get to try to help them learn to follow Him in a life-giving, non-religious way. But I must keep the benediction in mind and help them think about the end (I’m famous for reminding my church that they will die and encouraging them to live their life with that in mind).

    Jana, I want to encourage you that you bring something to this cohort that is so unique and needed. Your ministry is not as a pastor of a church but a shepherd of souls in their most critical moments and when I think about what you do it is ME who feels like an imposter sometimes.

    Last, I’m with you on not being able to read through books (including this one) but this morning I sat and finished the parts that I’d missed and I want to urge you to get to this one (as opposed to the many I have got that I will NEVER get to). The whole thing is life giving. For you, especially, I think the final chapter will be deeply impacting to you if you haven’t read it and want to skip to that one.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      As always Tim, thanks for that. I feel my best blogs come from when I’m vulnerable, the other ones are, meh. So this one was that for me. I do plan to read the book and thanks for last chapter. I was curious on his Covid 19 chapter which is where I found the benediction words. I agree that you are invocation and I am benediction and they need to be friends…Thank God we are friends. I am grateful to know you.

  4. C’Mon Lady! Ohhh, how brilliant, You stopped me in my thoughts with, “We must live into our benediction to answer the invitation.” Well, Todd, what does that mean for you? What does it mean to live backwards in other meaningful areas? It’s pretty late where I live but this thought will be with me in the morning. Thank you for speaking into my soul, Jana!😊

  5. mm Jana Dluehosh says:

    Thanks Todd. Each day is a mini invocation and benediction so may you’re going to sleep be filled with deep rest because you lived the day the way you needed to. And if you didn’t may the invitation tomorrow be to do the day better:)

  6. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:


    This post was beautiful. I appreciate your perspective and I want to say, AGAIN, that you belong here. I understand the waves of imposter syndrome, I have them also. I have to remind myself that it is not the voice of God.

    This sentence, “We must live into our benediction to answer the invitation.” , put a lump in my throat. I am going to take some time to sit with this and determine what it means for me. Keep sharing these powerful nuggets… we need them.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I believe you when you say I belong here. I believe it when everyone else says it too. I’m not sharing my imposter syndrome in the sense that I don’t belong, but this semester has been pretty tough with having to dig further into church leadership, honestly. I’m working hard to make it work for me. Maybe it’s the curriculum in some small ways that doesn’t fit me and it makes it seem that I’m an imposter, but I think the only imposter is if I pretend that it has to fit to make it work:). Overall, it’s an amazing degree, and amazing program and I’ve experienced healing from the church because of all of you. Thank you Jonita for your friendship!

  7. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:


    Yes, I understand… or as my dear friend likes to say, “I overstand”! My words are meant as encouragement and a show of solidarity. A reminder that we are not walking this path alone. I appreciate you and your friendship!

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