One of the workbooks that I have been working on in my quiet time is The Real Deal: Becoming More Authentic in Life and Leadership by Dan Webster. While I never considered leadership one of my strong skills in life (I much prefer to work behind the scenes), it was clear to me in leaving Texas that I needed to take time and work on my authenticity in life. There was a growing gap between who I was on the “outside” and the person I was allowing myself to become on the inside.
Today I started Chapter 4 of the workbook – Living from a Scared Trust. Webster says: “God has placed a sacred trust in you so that you can accomplish a sacred task for him.”
“If we are to become authentic leaders we must develop an accurate understanding of who God made us and how He’s gifted us to serve. The authentic leader understands that God has placed a sacred trust of gifts, personality, talents and passions into him or her… Our sacred trust shows us where and how we are to serve God. Our sacred trust is the North Star that navigates us through all of life’s opportunities.”
Almost as soon as I asked Christ to be my Lord, those around me begin using the words “spiritual gifts” and finding “God’s will” for my life. But Webster has a much broader definition that he challenges us to look at. He talks about “Living from your Heart.” In this context he refers to serving God from our heart, but he also uses HEART as an acronym to help us understand what scared trust is.
H – Heritage – our family origins, both the blessings and the baggage, helped create us into who we are today. It was no accident that God gave us the families that we have to help shape us into who He wants us to be.
E – Experiences – our life has been filled with them. We may question why God has taken us through a specific experience and it is usually not until later in life that we see how He uses our life experiences as part of His plan. I’m just now beginning to totally understanding some of my middle and high school experiences as I spend more time working with middle and high school students here in Florida.
A – Abilities – both spiritual and physical (or as Dan calls them natural and supernatural). I know from working in ministry and in the community that my spiritual gifts are focused on administration, helping and giving, while my natural strengths are not organization or commanding leadership. I both love and have a talent for helping others work through problems or issues in life. I remember starting out in my early years in the Federal Government (I worked for HUD in the early years). When the secretaries would go to lunch and I would beg them to let me answer the phones. Sure enough at least once, if not several times in that hour, there would be a sweet little old lady who was at the end of her rope whom I could help work through her housing problems. It came so easy to me and I so enjoyed doing it.
R – Resonance – this is the passion that God has planted inside of you! God overdid it with me on this one…sometimes I feel like I have a passion for everything with which I come in contact. Webster defines resonance as “something you agree with or are in sync with.” Something you are naturally attracted to. This might be country music vs. classical or scary movies over dramas, but in a sacred trust sense, what causes or passions are you naturally pulled toward? For me it includes helping rebuild neighborhoods, teaching preschoolers and understanding and serving others.
T – Temperament – I’m a huge Myers Briggs fan (its part of my resonance). So the temperament section came easy to me. Webster reminds us that the way God made us (introverted vs. extroverted, for example) is part of the sacred trust. Below is a list of some temperament characteristics that Webster lists in his workbook (my answers are in bold).
Hard driver vs. easy going
Extraverted vs. Introverted
Well organized vs. Play it by Ear
Thinker vs. Feeler
Neat vs. Disorderly
Creative vs. More Automatic
Spontaneous vs. Routine
Abstract vs. Concrete
Playful vs. Focused on Work
Good with hands vs. Good with mind
The list continues on and there are many other online resources that can help you understand the temperament God has given you.
Webster wraps this all up to remind us that each letter in the HEART is something that God has given us to uniquely equip us for what he has called us to do. As we look at the opportunities that are placed before us in life, Webster challenges us to look at them through the HEART filter. As we look back on the Heritage, the Experiences, the Abilities, the Resonance and the Temperament that God has given us, is this opportunity something that God has uniquely equipped us to do?
God is also reminding me a lot lately that my focus needs to be more on the next step that He wants me to take then on trying to understand His plan for the next 5, 10 or 15 years. The quote I heard listening to one of my podcasts the other day in reference to Esther and the tough choice she had to make to face the King.
“If God was going to reveal his entire plan to us beforehand, then it wouldn’t require much faith on our part.”
Cites: All of the quotes above come from Chapter 4 of The Real Deal by Dan Webster. More information on Dan Webster and his leadership resources can be found at http://www.authenticleadershipinc.com/
The reference to the podcast at the end of the blog comes from Perry Noble’s Esther series at New Spring Community Church. You can listen to all of them at: http://www.newspring.cc/series/esther