DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Finding Health and Wholeness Again

Written by: on June 17, 2019

Tom Camacho, pastor of Blue Bridge Vineyard Church and nationally certified leadership coach[1], challenges his readers to understand the height, the breadth, and the depth of the love of God. His personality is interwoven throughout the text and his passion for people is evident as each chapter unfolds. However, this book is not simply a call for action, but a call for identity. It challenges readers to operate from a stance of health, purpose, passion, and personality. Mining for Gold: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching encourages leaders to operate from a place of occupational fulfillment and personal faith.

When I first delved into this week’s text, I was tentative and downright presumptive. However, as I unfolded the pages and allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to my soul, I found healing, hope, and helpful resources. As an ENTJ, I’m not highly emotive, but I am highly loyal. The problem with fidelity is that it leads me to embrace sacrifice over obedience. I knew that God was calling me to leave my church last year; however, I wanted to be faithful. I wanted to lead from a place of sacrifice despite the nagging voice that called me to step out in faith and step away from my current church. Camacho reveals, “As Christian leaders, we need to thrive ourselves. We can only take people where we have been, and we can only give them what we have received.”[2] Last Monday, I sent my pastor the letter, signed the email, thanked the leadership for their friendship and followed God into the darkness of the unknown. There are many pastors and leaders doing wonderful works and leading dynamic ministries. However, there are others who are using fear and abuse to hold their congregants captive. Sadly, I was a part of the latter church.

As I look back on the red flags and rebuild my ideas on healthy leadership, I’m faced with the reality that many of us have found ourselves as victims of Stockholm syndrome. As pastors and leaders, we’re faithful – sometimes to a fault – sometimes to the detriment of our own health and calling. We toe the line and read the script because we somehow believe that our unwavering support equals worship. However, “You can only give what you have and you can only lead others where you have been.”[3] Many times, our purpose and our identity are wrought through the pain. We understand who we are and therefore fight for others to operate in the fullness of their identity as well. Tom Camacho suggests, “Warning lights are God’s gift to us. Pain is not our enemy, it is a warning light. It can protect us from something more damaging that can happen if we don’t make key changes.[4] Hence, faithfulness to God is found when we operate in our purpose and empower others to do the same.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for chaotic relativism or hedonism, but I am suggesting that God never intended for everyone to look alike, act alike, vote alike, and think alike. Conformity is not evidence of Christian maturity, but a limited perspective regarding the Imago Dei. Brené Brown echoes this idea and suggests:

If the culture in our schools, organization, place of worship, or even family requires armor because of issues like racism, classism, sexism, or any manifestation of fear-based leadership, we can’t expect wholehearted engagement. Likewise, when our organization rewards armoring behaviors like blaming, shaming, cynicism, perfectionism, and emotional stoicism, we can’t expect innovative work. You can’t fully grow and contribute behind armor.[5]

Camacho’s text reaches past the surface and delves into the depths of one’s soul and one’s leadership methodology – it challenges one to find inner peace in their ever-changing circumstances. This occurs when one operates within the 80/20 rule.

When we live without any form of opposition, we live on the sidelines. However, when we refuse to operate from a place of healthy boundaries and personal care, we operate from a stance of works without grace. Healthy and whole leadership occurs when we understand our identity, personality, and purpose. Camacho reveals:

Our unique design is something that emerges as we intentionally seek to understand it better. Every new discovery helps us know who we are, and what we are uniquely designed to do. As we discover our unique design, we begin to feel an inner permission to be the person He created us to be. We are free to be ourselves.[6]

As we face these next few months of research, let us always remember that, “…To obey is better than sacrifice…”[7] Let us remember that being faithful is being faithful to the call of God on our lives, not the vying voices that try to steal our passion, purpose, and peace.

 

 

 

[1]“About Tom Camacho,” https://tomcamacho.org, accessed June 17, 2019, https://tomcamacho.org/about-tom/.

[2]Tom Camacho, Mining for God: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching (IVP UK, 2019), 13.

[3]Ibid., 34.

[4]Ibid., 120.

[5]Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts (New York: Random House, 2018), 14.

[6]Tom Camacho, Mining for God: Developing Kingdom Leaders Through Coaching (IVP UK, 2019), 107.

[7]1 Samuel 15:22, NIV.

About the Author

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Colleen Batchelder

I speak at conferences, churches, companies and colleges on intergenerational communication, marketing, branding your vision and living authentically in a ‘filtered’ world. My talks are customized to venue needs and audience interests. My passion is to speak with organizations and bridge the intergenerational gap. I consult with companies, individuals, churches and nonprofit organizations and help them create teams that function from a place of communication that bridges the generational gap. I’m also the Founder and President of LOUD Summit – a young adult organization that presents workshops, seminars and summits that encourage, empower and equip millennials to live out their destiny and walk in their purpose. When I’m not studying for my DMin in Leadership and Global Perspectives at Portland Seminary, you can find me enjoying a nice Chai Latte, exploring NYC or traveling to a new and exotic destination.

12 responses to “Finding Health and Wholeness Again”

  1. Hey Colleen, I love your concluding sentence; I read this week that one of the main reasons missionaries are leaving the field is lack of freedom to pursue their call. Mission orgs impose their own vision and mission on missionaries, and these missionaries leave burnt out and unfulfilled. As Camacho explains, they were used up instead of liberated.

    How hard to leave you church–and how brave. May he lead you to your new community, and may you discover a hearty welcome of your whole self! What gifts and callings are you hoping to pursue in your new church home, once you find it?

    • Thanks so much, Jenn!

      It must be extremely frustrating for missionaries. They have such a heart and calling to immerse themselves into a new culture and a new place but are still held to an old form of methodology. What are some ways that missionary organizations need to change? What are some ways that missionary organizational leaders can become more immersed in the culture and understand the needs and perspectives of those out in the field?

      I’m most looking forward to being in a place where the grace of God and the diversity of people are welcomed. I would definitely like to connect with other pastors within the church and find a community where I can connect with other leaders. My last church wouldn’t even allow the pastors to be in the same coffee shop as me because of my gender. All pastors had to be accompanied by other pastors when in the presence of their female congregants regardless of the space.

  2. Mark Petersen says:

    Colleen,

    I highly respect your courageous decision to choose a new place that is more aligned to your own values which will propel you into a broader place of ministry. I pray you will have a good coach to advise and work with during this transition — these moments are critical. I hope you don’t shortchange yourself by launching out alone. Camacho offers a wonderful model.

    • Thanks so much, Mark!

      It’s been such an amazing time of resting in God’s presence and His peace. I’ve also decided to take some time to refocus and figure out my own convictions so that I make a choice that’s in line with my perceptive on scripture. It’s been like a theology refresher course. You all have served as my coaches and helped me make this decision.

      I recently interviewed a pastor on my podcast who consults with varied churches throughout the country and he focuses on helping pastors and leaders focus on working out of a place of personal health. It was refreshing to be reminded that Christ is not interested in the chaotic rat race of my performance, but the consistent obedience to His calling. What have you found is most valuable in a coach? How have they shaped your journey?

  3. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Colleen!

    Thank your for your transparent writings. We are all so glad you finished this journey with the LGP8. Thank your for your contributions, for your heart, and for your passion. Well done, Colleen.

    I was wondering if you have a coach? Might be of great help in this time of transition and growth.

    I lost the info from our last Zoom. You recommended something for my high blood pressure. What was it?

    • Thanks so much, Jay! I’m so blessed to have been a part of LGP6 and LGP8! You all welcomed me as part of the family right away and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t with you all.

      I don’t have a coach per se, but I have reached out to some friends/pastors on Facebook for some advice, prayer, and brainstorming. Great idea though.

      Bergamot is really good at lowering cholesterol and bringing your blood pressure into balance. It all depends on the cause of the high bp though. My dad takes this (the pill form) to help with his cholesterol levels and Bergamot is actually a popular form of medical treatment in Italy for lowering bp. However, if it’s caused by the heart, I would suggest limiting sodium in your diet. This can help lower your blood pressure as well. Have they done a stress test or any cardio workup?

      My bp is extremely low due to my heart disorder, so I actually have to add salt to my diet because I’m hypovolemic. I’ll be praying that you find answers and quick results.

  4. mm Kyle Chalko says:

    Great word Colleen. A broken and contrite heart is the sacrifice that is pleasing to god. Psalm 51.

    I’m glad this book was our last book, as it was nice to end on a quality leadership edifying book.

    Cya tomorrow!

    • Thanks so much, Kyle! I know what you mean. Camacho was truly refreshing. It was definitely significant to end this semester centered around health.

      What are ways that coaching that aided you in your spiritual and doctoral journey?

  5. mm Mike says:

    Colleen,

    Congrats on finishing well! It is an honor to be your brother in Christ and thanks for being such a good friend and cohort members since you joined the Elite 8 team.

    Awesome post as always. I love the Stockholm syndrome (SS) comments. I would enjoy talking to you offline about some of my experiences and observations with SS in my professions.

    Great post, awesome insights, great quotes. Thanks for speaking truth to our group. I am very proud of you.

    Stand firm,
    Mike

  6. mm Dan Kreiss says:

    Colleen,

    Well done one opening yourself up to the insights this text provides. I too was a bit skeptical but found myself drawn in as I read. The move you have made from your church is tough but I believe will free you to grow and develop in new ways and open up further doors for ministry leadership.

    I am glad that you joined the Elite 8s. Have fun writing. See you in a couple months.

  7. Tom Camacho says:

    Colleen
    You are a brave young leader indeed. Dr. Henry Cloud’s excellent book called, Necessary Endings, came to mind when I read this post. There are times when we MUST step out from where we are in obedience and faith so God can do the new thing He has in our growth and maturing. It is a leadership process that functions like pruning a fruit tree. Somethings have to go in order for the much fruit of John 15 to come forth from our lives. I am excited to see what God does for you in your next season of life and ministry. I pray you feel the permission to be who you are while you lay down all your gifts and experience at Jesus’ feet. He has good plans ahead for you.

  8. mm Jean Ollis says:

    Colleen,
    What a joy to get to know you in the last “year” of this program. You have stretched and blessed our cohort more than you can know. When we were weary, you came in with passion and woke us back up! Thank you for your friendship, wisdom, challenging questions, and excellent writing. We are all better for knowing you!!! 🙂

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