From spotlight - Autumn 2018 - Editorial
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Whether or not you have a formal leadership role, as nurses we all influence someone, as Esther Chevassut points out in her article on mentoring (p20). Being aware of who and how we influence can help us be better role models, mentors and nurses.
Indeed, if you are only too aware of your limitations and inadequacies as a leader, I would argue that that's a good starting point to lead from. For it's then that we keep dependent on God and his strength, knowing our need for him and his Spirit.
As worthwhile as it is to read and to contemplate qualities and practices of leadership as nurses, I'm also keenly aware of the tension before us as Christian nurses. We have a different model of leadership to that of the world. Our culture loathes weakness. It's to be avoided at all costs. But God has called us to embrace a different way, the way of life in Christ by the Spirit. God's call to leadership does NOT mean the power to control. Rather it's the call to follow in the footsteps of Christ leading from the Garden of Gethsemane to the tree upon the hill. Rather than using our vocation to build significance, success or self-achievement, we are invited to die to self, and to lead by serving others.
I love Jesus's example of being a servant leader. Despite being the Son of God, Lord, Prince, Creator and Saviour, he laid down all his power, embraced weakness and depended upon the Father, and took up his cross. What a mystery!
As Christians we're also called to rest in the grace of God, whose power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'
This is something I want to explore more - how to lead out of weakness, depending upon God's power. It is good to acknowledge our weaknesses - but not to beat ourselves up and make ourselves feel like failures. But rather we should use our weaknesses to turn to God and wholly rely on his strength. When this is done humbly and genuinely, we magnify God's power and is a testimony to others about God's greatness! In the words of Paul, 'we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us' (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Would you pray for me as I try to head up CMF's nursing ministry? That I would not do so out of my own strength and effort, but would learn what this really means, to walk humbly depending on God and his Spirit to birth a fruitful ministry. And I in turn will pray for you, dear member!
Pippa trained as a nurse. She has planted a church for students with her husband, set up a charity for street kids in Uganda, and has been a Friends International Student Worker.
Steve worked in community nursing in south London, before working for several years with a Christian HIV and AIDS home care team in the city.