We are extremely blessed in the culture we live in the U.S. We have incredible homes, furnishings, comforts that many cultures or ethnicities never face or understand. We work and provide so are children can have it a little easier than we had it. But we must ask, are we hurting our children rather than helping them.
I had a head pastor challenge me in my first years of ministry, he asked me if I rescue everyone how will they learn? That suffering helps us to bring change.
Tempered Resilience draws wisdom from a variety of sources, Moses, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Heifitz, Edwin Friedman, Brene Brown, Angela Duckworth, and more. Tempered Resilience is grounded in church leadership and helps us in external and internal challenges. To summarize this book into one sentence, “resilience for faith based leaders who wisely persevere toward the mission God has put before them amid both external challenges and internal resistance of the leader’s followers.”
Boslinger narrows the forging process of being a resilient leader into six steps:
1. Working-Healthy Leadership comes from experience through engaging in the trials and tribulations of this life.
2. Heating-Those who are healthy and resilient leaders will lean into the process of “heating.” This is through honest self reflection.
3. Holding-Don’t go al0ne. “The vulnerability of leadership needs the security of many relationships.”
4. Hammering-refers to the process of spiritual formation. “Leaders are forging the strength and character.”
5. Hewing-this stage is all about hope. How do we hew hope from despair? Not only in our own lives, but also for the lives in our care.
6. Tempering-focuses on developing a rhythm of work and rest.
In my own time of living out Tempered Resilience through Covid, I lived each of these stages in my ministry in Lake Stevens, WA. In the beginning of Covid, our church was threatened to be permenently closed by the County and Health Department, I made a personal decision to not abandon Jesus Christ in this time. I chose to be a soldier of Jesus Christ and did I ever pay the price for that decision.
The food ministry at the Well Church exploded in a few weeks. We went from a church of 100 souls of primarily youth to feeding the 5,000. Every week we had over 5,000 people coming for food, prayer, ministry, baptisms, bibles, and healings. It seemed the more persecution happened, the more God moved at our little church.
The attacks escalated on to our own personal property and vehicles. In this time I received my first death threat in ministry. That if I did not close down the church and food ministry, the attacks would get worse, and one day, I would never come back home again.
In this time, the biggest mistake I made, was isolating myself in protecting myself and family. In fact I still struggle with this, when people approach me I look for a weapon, body language, how do I put this person into submission. Rather than praying, loving, and hugging people. I was in defensive mode, worse my church and volunteers moved into protection mode as well. Through this time, the hammering process was great. But God, was after something deep inside of me, God wanted His pastor to be tempered. To stand in the fire no matter how hot or cold it got and minister.
In this present time, I am in stage 6 of the steps. I am trying to find that new rhythm of work and rest. I will have to let some things go such as the food ministry so our school of Diligence can thrive at the Well. Through all of this, I feel like I have been through a war. But in all of this, I am a better leader.
I am curious, what step are you possibly in at this present time?