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

“More than a job, less then a life”

Written by: on February 16, 2023

Master; Mastery:

How does one become master?  Leadersmithing by Eve Poole brings in many examples of types of work and how one becomes master of one’s vocation.  Most of her examples have to do with craftmanship, and how over time one becomes a master by first becoming an apprentice. (More on apprenticing later). In our time together talking about Leadership principles, we’ve talked about the role of leader, the seriousness of leading and the responsibility.  I believe what Eve is bring into focus is the harnessing of craft of leadership over the course of time and incorporating the mentoring/coaching role.  I appreciate the seriousness of what Poole is bringing in this book, that it takes time and practice and effort.  I get fearful honestly of being Master of anything as to whom much is given much is required.  “Being a Master is pressure” [1] .  In becoming master there are potholes to avoid.  Poole mentions  Dorothy Sayers essay Why we Work, she quotes, “An addiction to service makes us slaves to feedback, unable to discern the inherent quality of work for work’s sake. If we constantly have on eye on our audience we do not have both eyes on the work.  And if we establish a psychological contract that expects approval or at least some appreciation for our pains, we set ourselves up for disappointment if the reward does not quite match up, which also devalues the work” [[2]].

I feel there is a brilliance we all need to hear, especially in ministry.  I believe in servant leadership, but I also believe we can lose a lot when we don’t find balance.  A mentor of mine told me in seminary “Vocation should be more than a job but less then a life”.  Losing your self to service is opposite of Character; “Character is not about doing, its about being” [[3]].

Apprentice, Apprenticeship:

I have put a lot of thought and learning into apprenticeship.  I have mentioned before that I participated 3 years in an anam care apprenticeship, in Bend, OR.  We spent probably the first ¼ of the course talking about what it means to be an apprentice and honestly there was never any promise that we’d be anything past an apprentice, implying that Anam Cara Apprentices of early century, also known as midwives of the soul, spent over 20 years under the direct study of a Master.  This master would also claim simultaneously they were still and apprentice.  This sense of humility brings about trust and perhaps safety with younger and future apprentices as there was no promise that you’ll master the work.  In my midwifery of the soul work we had a saying, “We are the Medicine” and the next question is how well do we know that medicine?

One of the harships of the master and apprentice role is that there is possibility of breakdown of the relationship [[4]].  In the relationship of Master and Apprentice, there is  the chance that  there is a “waywardness on the part of the apprentices  and neglect or abuse by their masters”[[5]]  Trust, time, humility (always an apprentice attitude)and practice seem to be what the master and apprentice relationship needs. The combination of all our leadership reading and the LCP self awareness work and connecting all of these sometimes overwhelming and seemingly un-related dots all point in one direction.


We are the Medicine:

How well do we know ourselves?   If you are wondering from me, how do I enter in the end of life phrase in a healthy way Jana?  I’d tell you from this very apprenticing I am doing, that we must die to ourselves, or put another way by Eckhart Tolle “Die to yourself, so that when it comes time to die, you don’t die”.  Meaning, apprenticing oneself into a Human Being and not a Human Doing is key!  Almost every person I counsel on death’s door wrestles and struggles with them no longer able to “contribute” or “do” anything.  We have gone so far down the rabbit trail in our culture of defining ourselves on our Mastery and what we do!  The gift of being an apprentice Leader is that we are always seeking a Master.  What a gift that we have a Master in Jesus.  The work is done, he has suffered and died so that when it comes time for us to die we do not die!


[1] Eve Poole, Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership. (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing 2017), 65.

[2] Ibid, 48

[3] Ibid,  49

[4] Ibid, 60

[5] Ibid, 65


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.

14 responses to ““More than a job, less then a life””

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Hi Jana,
    You mentioned your Anam care apprenticeship. Are there ways that you “apprentice” in your work now? I love this, “Apprenticing oneself into a Human Being and not a Human Doing is key! ” And, thank you for sharing these wise words, “Vocation should be more than a job but less then a life”. Losing your self to service is opposite of Character; “Character is not about doing, its about being.”I am wondering how you keep the being and doing in balance?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I love this question Jenny. In fact we talk about this a lot as Hospice Chaplains (I’m sure Hospital Chaplains do too), but we have to work within a structure that the federal government monitors for interventions and goals fullfilled. Meaning, we somehow have to prove that the existential and emotional support we give is measurable and productive. Talk about the “doing”. I have found, in answer to your questions that the “being” is the doing! I never find it a waste to sit next to a dementia patient or a patient who sleeps 20 hours a day as a waste of time. It forces me to be present with them and that matters! I have to fight my own instincts to go into my own thoughts and shopping lists or what I’m going to do next. I actually have to “practice” or as Poole would say “smithing” my presence. This is why I love the work.. after 10 years I’m still not Master of this, I still find my mind wandering or wanting to be somewhere else, but I also end up practicing being a non-judgemental presence to myself!

  2. Noel Liemam says:

    Ms. Jana, I have seen the benefits or differences between learning in classroom and learning by doing. After going into apprenticeship program, I was more confident in doing the job that I was in the apprenticeship program for.

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      I agree Noel, practice and learning from those further down the road is crucial in instilling confidence. I find being able to do that for those newer to your path is also a way of apprenticing…especially apprenticing leading! Experiencing what you always experience but through the eyes of someone newer to it in turn brings fresh eyes to something you may have always done! I love this type of leadership!

  3. mm Cathy Glei says:

    Jana, So true. . .we apprentice with Jesus as human beings not human doings. It is out of our love for him that we give and care. . . we love because He first loved us. It is such a gift that we have a Master Apprentice, Jesus. AMEN AND AMEN to the quote by Eckhart Tolle “Die to yourself, so that when it comes time to die, you don’t die”. In Mark 8:34-38 Jesus’ words “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” What have we got to lose as apprentices? In this idea of “die to yourself” I appreciate these words by Missionary Jim Elliott, ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’ There is so much freedom in the idea of dying to self (trusting the Master), how might a person live out of this perspective in the daily grind of life and leadership?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Cathy…that question was a real “thinker” for me, I suppose that is the journey…and what we will all daily encounter until Jesus takes us home? Lifelong apprenticeship to dying to self? I find that (and this is going to sound morbid) but I am always reminding myself every day is that this present moment is all we have! The trick is knowing in that moment of awareness what is the best choice or what is God calling of me in this moment. I find it’s the hard moments that I have to die to self and allow God control…I suppose it’s in the good moments too? Do I express gratitude in those moments to my Creator? Great question Cathy.

  4. mm Dinka Utomo says:

    Your writing brought me enlightenment. Thank you, Jana!
    I am impressed by your emphasis on the apprenticeship concept from Poole’s writing that you relate to your ministry experience. The apprentice leader is always looking for a teacher. This awareness always leads us to humility. On the other hand, as apprentice leaders, we also practice humility because we realize that we can learn from the people we lead. Anyway, what experiences or valuable lessons in your work have greatly influenced your current leadership?

    • mm Jana Dluehosh says:

      Honestly Dinka, it’s dealing with the disappointment when those you are leading don’t transform or make the right choices. I’ve had to fire a few employees in my day in ministry. That is the HARDEST thing I have ever done because there is so much taken for granted when someone is “working for God” in that their goodness is almost untouchable. As a leader for those in Ministry is fighting my desire to assume the best in them but to also have the courage to call them to better. I also have to continually work on appropriate vulnerability and humility myself, without being too vulnerable and humble. Isn’t that crazy! I tend to be too vulnerable and it has been used against me in the worst way…but I have found that authenticity and integrity speak louder. Thank you Dinka as always for your support and great questions.

  5. Kally Elliott says:

    Rob Bell was the one who I first heard say something like “God created us human beings not human doings.” It stuck with me – I mean not so much that I actually stopped freaking out when I wasn’t productive – but the saying has rolled around in my brain ever since I first heard it.

    I do love the phrase, “We are the medicine.” I remember you telling us during our LCP interview that this is what you remind the other chaplains you work with. This saying reminds me to try to be fully present whenever I encounter another.

  6. mm Jonita Fair-Payton says:

    Jana, I love the perspective that you shared. I did not think about the relationship between the apprentice and the master…certainly not in the context of leadership. You have given me much to consider. I have three professional/personal mentors. They are amazing in every way and I love sitting a just listening. So much of my development has been a result of what they have poured into me. You were right on target with this, “This sense of humility brings about trust and perhaps safety with younger and future apprentices as there was no promise that you’ll master the work.”

  7. mm Tim Clark says:

    “You are the medicine… how well do you know the medicine?”.

    That’s a show-stopper for me. I know you say you’re “not a pastor” but your job has so many pastoral elements to it.

    Ephesians 4 says that God gave gifts to His church: People gifts. Pastor gifts. We ARE the gifts…we are the medicine… but just as we want to “know” the resources we have to offer to others, the better we know ourselves the better we can be true gifts and true medicine to others.

    Thanks for this great insight!

  8. Okay, first of all, I love your title. I legit would watch that on Netflix. I really appreciated the thoughts about working on being a “human being” versus a “human doing.” It instantly made me think of all the busy work we can sometimes account for as accomplishments but perhaps the biggest achievement is simply to have crossed that action off of our to-do list.

    Okay – so this question is not a specific response to your post but you made my brain fire in so many ways.

    If you could pick someone to be a master to your children they could apprentice under, who would it be? I think it’s easy to say “Oh like Mary Poppins,” or something like that – but you know if I wanted to improve my poor to mediocre golf game, I wouldn’t hire Tiger Woods coach. I would hire someone who was closer to my level.

    So what do you think – don’t feel the need to be specific. Generalities would be fine.

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