Comfort and Empowerment: A #TrusteeTuesday Reflection

By Jim Dana
As someone who was never called to spiritual leadership, but who was called to join the spiritual community after my own personal health crisis, I see an opportunity for spiritual leaders to comfort and empower.  And, yes, we sometimes forget how comforting it is to feel empowered. Joining the spiritual community started as my way of giving back, and of showing empathy for those who comforted me when I was in need.  Eventually, it became my source of strength.   
Spiritual leaders must anticipate and welcome the inevitable renewed interest in the spiritual community that comes from a crisis, whether shared or not.  People seek safety and relief from uncertainty.  But as importantly, they seek to give to their community, and to provide for others.  It is our community that makes them feel safe, and feel comforted, and feel empowered.
So, welcome everyone.  Open the doors for everyone to contribute in their own way.  Open the doors for each of them to find acceptance.  Let everyone see through your example that the community stands together as one, and prays together as one, recognizing that individuals are different and have different values and beliefs.  Let them see through your example that they can make a difference in others’ lives.  Let them see through your example that there are many ways to comfort and many ways to find comfort. And above all, cement those community bonds, both within and outside the church. 
Your leadership will change the lives of individuals through your comfort and caring, but your legacy will be a community that sustains itself through mutual respect, mutual comfort, and mutual caring. It will be a community that feels empowered to make the world richer and better for all of us.
This is the final installment in our #TrusteeTuesday series on the future of leadership. For an explanation and overview of the series, see the announcement on our news feed.
To learn more about our trustees, visit the Trustee page on this site, where you will also find a full bio for Jim Dana.