This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
I'm reading Robert Quinn's book Deep Change. In the first chapter, Quinn gives an example of personal deep change. A middle manager found himself feeling angry, frustrated, and hopeless at work. The company had been through three waves of lay-offs. One day his perspective changed:
After months of gut-wrenching agony, this man could take no more. He began to ask himself who he really was and what he really valued. He talked to his wife about these issues. Did he have an identity separate from the organization? Could they live on half his income if he switched jobs? He was surprised and delighted to discover that the answer to both questions was yes. Answering these questions had a freeing effect. He felt personally empowered. He stopped worrying about the dangers of change and how he was seen by the organization. He began to ask himself what was needed in the present… In reflecting on the entire experience, the man told me he had an entirely new outlook on the concept of leadership. He talked about a paradox. He claimed that although he now acted much more independently, he cared more about the organization and was therefore twice as valuable.
From personal experience, I know it's easy for pastors to slip into feelings of despair and become concerned with our role (not to mention our job security). I've also experienced what it feels like to be free from worry about my own security, to know I can survive apart from my role in the church, to be free to take risks. I guess it's part of dying. Ironically, I think it makes me a better pastor when I'm like that.