Well, the first phase of the first class is complete. We have participated in three full days of class as Randy Jessen led us to think about the spiritual life of leaders. In September, we will participate in the second phase of the class, which is a three day (mostly) silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani, just outside of Bardstown, KY (which happens to be known as the Bourbon Capital of the World).
Our focus in these past three days has been examining our temperaments, personalities, and tendencies in how we live out relationship with God. The importance of spiritual life in leadership cannot be overstated. We cannot produce fruit if we are not connected to the vine. But, the necessity of spiritual life goes much deeper than functionality. It really should be our identity. One of the assignments of the class is to envision and communicate a plan to nurture and grow our relationship with God in everything that we do. It’s called a “Rule of Life.” Understanding that God cares about and is active in every part of our lives, this “Rule” (or measure) will include everything from family life to Bible study to health.
In our journey toward developing a Rule of Life for ourselves, we reached back into history to read The Rule of St. Benedict, which became the guiding rule for entire panoply of Benedictine Orders. We also looked very closely at the life of Thomas Merton who lived under that rule in Abbey of Gethsemani as a Trappist Monk. We also discussed some of our readings in depth, practiced a few disciplines of prayer, and gathered in our newly formed small groups.
These days have been filled with great teaching, focused discussion, and holy conferencing.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.