At the beginning of 2014, shortly after receiving news that An Unhurried Life had received a Christianity Today Book Award of Merit in Spirituality, I started the process of drafting a sequel. Yesterday, An Unhurried Leader finally released. That’s a gestation period of three-and-a-half years. Yesterday morning, as we were waking up, Gem greeting me by saying, “It’s born this morning.”
I’ve said before that writing a book is as close as I’m going to ever come to giving birth. I’ve found myself using the pregnancy metaphor for the writing process often. I guess that’s good. It was always my hope to write something that was organic and alive. I wasn’t trying to write a technical manual for spiritual leadership. I was trying to live a spiritual life of meaningful influence, and then write what I learned.
And for this book, I wanted to do some hard, personal work at the level of integrating my own spiritual journey with my work as an unhurried leader. I think this is a critical and fruitful intersection that is too rarely visited. It’s too easy to major on spirituality at the cost of loving service, or to major on productive leadership at the cost of a healthy soul.
In chapter 1, I wrote a few paragraphs about what I hoped to say about leadership in this book:
“When I talk about leadership in this book, I’m not limiting that to people like CEOs and senior pastors who have a wide span of organizational responsibility. I certainly hope that what I have to say will be a significant help to fellow organizational leaders. But I’m writing not just about organizational leadership. I’m writing about life leadership. I’m talking about spiritual influence, about kingdom of God influence. Each of us has been planted in particular places among particular people whom we might bless and benefit by sharing something good we’re receiving from God’s good kingdom.
We all have some scope of influence in the lives of others. We need not have a position of influence to be a person of influence. Many influential people in my life over the years had no position of organizational authority in my life, but the way they lived and worked inspired and motivated me to a better way of living and leading.
I would love for us to learn together how to live as blessed members of God’s good kingdom who can share with others from his abundance in our lives. What a beautiful impact we would have on our world. We could grow in our trust of God’s grace shown us in Jesus so that our lives actually become like an ever-expanding river of not only his grace but also his goodness and generosity. God might fill our lives with more of his love and compassion than we can contain so we can share that “more” with others. Our influence would be the overflow of God’s very presence filling us and spilling from our lives in ways that bring refreshment, encouragement, and holy energy to others (p. 11-12).”
This is the vision that inspires and moves Gem and me in the development of Unhurried Living. Every blog post we write, online course we produce, speaking or training engagement we take on seeks to inspire people around the world to rest deeper so they can live fuller and lead better. We want to inspire a growing community of unhurried leaders in the spirit of jesus. I’m grateful that this new book is now available as another expression of this deep passion for us.
If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll order yourself a copy of An Unhurried Leader and enjoy it over the summer. It’s a good time to reflect on your life, relationships and work. And I’d love for you to talk about your experience of reading on social media. Unhurried Living is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be looking forward to interacting with you.
P.S. – If you didn’t hear it, Gem and I had a conversation about An Unhurried Leader on our final podcast episode of season one. You can listen to it on our blog.