DMINLGP

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

Shaping the Life of a Leader

Written by: on March 2, 2017

“It takes heroic humility to be yourself.” — Thomas Merton

Introduction

Isolation—A Place of Transformation in the Life of a Leader by Shelly G. Trebesch is a leadership guidance book that informs Christian leaders on what to expect in the ministry. It prepares leaders on what they are likely to face when they have set out for ministry. There may be varying reasons, such as crises, personal choices, persecution, discipline, and sicknesses among others.[1] This booklet acts as a manual, imparting proper attitudes and patterns that are relevant when facing the challenging experiences as one advance towards maturity in one’s leadership roles.

Summary

The book is a manual that every leader should read. This is not only for Christian leaders alone, but every leader that believes in the divinity of God. The book offers a wide range revelations to the leaders that are necessary in understanding their mandates.[2] The author contends that people in leadership try to escape the isolation but pain holds them back.[3] Trebesch states, “while we cringe at the thought of such experiences, the Bible reveals that as natural part of life.”[4] Irrespective of the situations, the book reveals the purpose of the experience and how God can use us as vessels. As such, she highlights that “isolation experiences can be painful, but will be profitable when we recognize that God is working through them.”[5] The book is full of substance that guides leaders and supports its arguments with scriptures.

Reflection

Evidently, change is necessary and people should allow God to change them throughout their lives, particularly in the ministry. The isolation that arises as a result is a reflection of transformation of the soul and life of the leader and should be accommodated irrespective of the pain and challenges it brings. After all, Trebesch states, “a paradigm shift changes the way a leader does ministry.”[6] This is mostly for the better if not the best. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance for leaders to secure their identity in God. However, this is not a simple experience as there is a conflict of the spirit and the body. In the process, people tend to wrestle God just as Jacob did; this is normal. In fact, Trebesch points out, “Leaders at this state hunger for God and search for their true identity.”[7] In the process of metamorphosis, it is important for leaders to hold on to their true identity in God.

In the wake of challenges, people can seek to follow their personal desires. However, only God satisfies as Trebesch demonstrates: “Likewise persons in isolation must tenaciously hold on to God and embrace their true identity as the Lord calls it forth.”[8] Through holding on to God, an increased intimacy is realized by the leader towards God. Therefore, isolation is a process God takes people through so he can make them better. The intention is not to hurt them, but to train them in righteousness and develop a deeper love for their God. This book challenges Christian leaders to embrace the isolation challenges as they are of good intention. The pain experienced in isolation creates a deeper hunger for God among the leaders. This ultimately makes it them know their God better.

Times Of Isolation

God uses times of isolation in the formation of all of His followers, but especially His leaders.You can be in isolation and still be in a crowd.“The one who responds to God in isolation processing is a different person afterwards, living life more maturely and ministering out of being.”[9] (Trebesch, p. viii)

Bibliography

Biglow, T. “4 Points of a Leader’s Metamorphoses in Isolation.” Weblog Post in DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World. March 15, 2016. http://dminlgp.com/4-points-of-a-leaders-metamorphoses-in-isolation/ (accessed February 22, 2017).

Bonem, Mike, and Roger Patterson. Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.

Reivich, Karen, and Andrew Shatté. The Resilience Factor: 7 Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Trebesch, Shelly G. Isolation: A Place of Transformation in the Life of a Leader. Altadena CA: Barnabas, 1997.

 

Notes

[1]. T. Biglow,“4 Points of a Leader’s Metamorphoses in Isolation,” weblog Post in DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World, March 15, 2016, http://dminlgp.com/4-points-of-a-leaders-metamorphoses-in-isolation/ (accessed February 22, 2017).

[2]. Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson, Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005).

[3]. Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté. The Resilience Factor: 7 Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles (New York: Broadway Books, 2002).

[4]. Shelly G. Trebesch, Isolation: A Place of Transformation in the life of A Leader (Altadena CA: Barnabas, 1997), 3.

[5]. Ibid., 8.

[6]. Ibid., 10.

[7]. Ibid., 38.

[8]. Ibid., 40.

[9]. Ibid., viii.

About the Author

mm

Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

10 responses to “Shaping the Life of a Leader”

  1. Hi Rose. I agree with you that God uses isolation as a way to draw us closer to him. Why do you think so many people miss this point? How have times of isolation brought you closer to the Lord?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron for sharing on my blog!

      I wasn’t just isolation, i was lost…It was a critical time in my life, I understood very little about the profound change that was taking place. Now, through insights gained from the Bible and personal experience, I understand how one enters a relationship with God and where to start the process. It is an honor to share that with others, my falling in love with Jesus.
      It’s a long story Aaron… one day I’ll give you a copy of my book to read!
      Thanks Rose Maria

  2. Rose,

    Thank you for your thoughts on this important subject. Have you during this last season that we have been studying together experienced isolation? You have been very open about the loss that you have experienced and I have thought of you and prayed for you in this time. How have you managed this passage of life?

    I believe we have learned from each other as we have journeyed together. Do you agree with the author that there will be multiple times of this in our life and do you always “grow” during the process?

    Last thought, in your closing you stated that you can be in isolation and still be in a crowd. How have you found it possible to let others in the crowd in to your isolation. Is this possible.

    Hope your conference was outstanding.

    Kevin

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Kevin for sharing on my blog!

      Yes I agree with the author that there will be multiple times in our life that we experience isolation. However, in our isolation season, we must trust God and be thankful, because He knows the beginning from the end. According to the scripture, “ Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10 ) It really about Inward Transformation- Isolation often begins the process of breaking and stripping a former identity. Joseph, Moses and Paul are prime examples of this process.

      The first critical isolation time in my life, I understood very little about the profound change that was taking place. Now, through insights gained from the Bible and personal experience, I understand how one enters a relationship with God and where to start the process. It’s my honor to share with others my isolation experience with God.

      The second part of your question, “do you always “grow” during the process?” yes if it God ordain… “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1) is an example. He didn’t just go into wilderness (isolation), but He was led by the spirit.

      What followed is amazing.In my seasons of isolation, I have experienced a new kind of peace, even when i lost seven members of my family including my husband within four month period. I trusted that God knew it from the beginning and I totaly relied upon and trusted him. During the process, I KNEW God had accepted me just as I was — my intellectual barriers, my sense of unworthiness and all. I hadn’t earned it. I didn’t deserve it. But he took my cautious step of faith and, in return, welcomed me with open arms. He was no longer distant. Though there was much I had yet to understand, I was convinced I had finally connected with God in a new way and He is my source.

      Thanks for asking about the conference, it was the 46th annual conference of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, held in New Orleans, La. It was great, exactly what I needed. It gave me a clearer vision of my research, dealt with research projects from the beginning to end,and the practical workshop explained and gave the participants practical experience in using visual techniques to analyze (and present) observational data, with approaches that transcend quantitative/qualitative and idiographic/nomothetic dichotomies. And exploring Cultural Variation Using eHRAF World Cultures. Database eHRAF World Cultures was designed to facilitate cross-cultural comparisons by providing finely subject-indexed ethnographic information about the cultures of the world. With over 300 cultures included, you can readily compare similar topics across cultures, which is a great tool.

      I have learned so much from you guys, we are a great cohort. Thanks for all your input into my life and my endeavor. Rose Maria

  3. mm Phil Goldsberry says:

    Rose:

    In your times of “isolation”, were you prepared for when it hit or did they catch you by surprise? We know they are inevitable, but were you prepared when it happened?

    How do you think we can prepare others for their seasons of “isolation”?

    Phil

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Phil for sharing,
      In my times of isolation, I was not looking for isolation; but it happened. However, I am always aware that the details of our lives are no accident. God knows the beginning from the end, therefore we live where we do, know what we know, have the friends that we have, and work at a particular ministry because God has appointed us to it. That is something that always at forefront of my mind. When in isolation, I say and ask God, “You knew that I would be in this place at this time, so what is it Lord? Some time it is the environment for seclusion and silence, these two qualities provide adequate conditions that teach humility. Other periods of isolation, was about my effectiveness in honouring God through my service, which depends on my vision of God, what I believe about him rather than what i believe about myself or external circumstances. Both he is majestic, sovereign, merciful, and faithful, or he is not … preparation for my leadership.

      Although Jesus was the son of God, right at the forefront of His ministry, Jesus needed to face the question as to what kind of Messiah He would be. As He was humbled by coming to earth, this period of testing in the wilderness humbled Jesus in that He was made to show outwardly the obedience He operated under inwardly at the forefront of His ministry.

      When i experienced my last season of isolation, i remember the prophet Ezekiel and how everything changed for Ezekiel when he saw the greatness of God. The prophet was taken from the experience of isolation and frustration to the place of prophesy and joy in service by seeing the glory of God. Ezekiel said, “The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” That is what impelled this man into a life of useful ministry. He saw God as he’d never seen him before. Our view of God will also shape what we become, I can attest to that answer.

      To answer your question, ”How do you think we can prepare others for their seasons of “isolation” ? Teaching others to learn the “ Heart of God”, because God longs for you to know his heart, to tap into his love and plans for you. He designed you to long for the same. Knowing the Heart of God will satisfy your hardwired need to know him and will take you―day by day―closer and closer to the God who loves you.
      Blessings Rose Maria

  4. Pablo Morales says:

    Rose, thank you for a good blog and summary of the book. I also read your responses to the previous questions from the cohort, so I do not have additional questions to ask. I thought of you when reading the book, especially in light of the fact that recently the Lord welcomed your husband home. I trust that He is your Sustainer and that you are learning new insights in this new stage of your service to Christ. He will continue to use you for His glory!
    Pablo

  5. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Pablo for the encouraging words!
    Blessings Rose Maria

  6. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Rose,

    Based on your own experiences, what would you tell some is the advantage of going through isolation? Do you have any clues how a person can prepare themselves for the inevitability of isolation?

  7. mm Garfield Harvey says:

    Rose,
    You stated that “In the process of metamorphosis, it is important for leaders to hold on to their true identity in God.” This statement is very important for us as Christians. We often ask God to transform us into His image but we rarely ask or consider the process of such transformation. We don’t mind the voluntary isolation but we are challenged to trust God when isolation is involuntary.

    Garfield

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