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. 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.
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. The author contends that people in leadership try to escape the isolation but pain holds them back. Trebesch states, “while we cringe at the thought of such experiences, the Bible reveals that as natural part of life.” 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.” The book is full of substance that guides leaders and supports its arguments with scriptures.
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.” 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.” 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.” 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.” (Trebesch, p. viii)
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.
. 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).
. 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).
. Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté. The Resilience Factor: 7 Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles (New York: Broadway Books, 2002).
. Shelly G. Trebesch, Isolation: A Place of Transformation in the life of A Leader (Altadena CA: Barnabas, 1997), 3.
. Ibid., 8.
. Ibid., 10.
. Ibid., 38.
. Ibid., 40.
. Ibid., viii.