Before he left, Daniel encouraged me to step up more a spiritual leader after the first week at Longlac. For me, it was something I was already looking and trying to do, so getting some encouragement was nice. To me being responsible for the spiritual well-being of our team wasn't as hard as I thought it could be. The thing is you're on a missions trip so God is right there with you, it's impossible not to pray for something before you try it in that kind of scenario. If anything, you're even more in-tune with Him than ever. It's nearly impossible to forget about God while doing God's work.
With God working right there with us, almost hand-in-hand, I barely felt any kind of pressure or burden to lead, other than to lead by example.
Lately, I've been thinking more about spiritual leadership from a relationship standpoint. When I get married in May 2008, I'll have to take on a new responsibility, as head of the household. And more importantly, spiritual head of the family.
I feel a lot of pressure with this one, and rightly so.. to have the responsibility to ensure that we as a couple are living the life God intended us to live. I think about my brother and I, and how I encourage him to attend church and read the bible regularly, but when he doesn't there isn't a whole lot I can do on my end. Yes, it's somewhat my responsibility but not really. I advice will only take him so far.. in the end he needs to make his own adult decisions.
I talked to my dad about this and he didn't seem to have an answer. My parents don't pray together, nor study the bible together, although both do it avidly, they also do is separately. I suppose it is, once again, about living by example. Dom mentioned how he and his wife do devotions together every day, and they pray together too.
I was telling Daniel about how I'd read an article from Focus On The Family, about a woman's expectations, which basically said many Christian women are looking to marry the pastor-type or someone pastor-like. Daniel concurred, saying he was rather surprised even of his own wife's expectations on this subject, even though he IS a pastor. It's definitely a surprise, especially for oblivious men like myself to have an expectation like that upon us without any prior warning.
So what does it take? Are we talking about devotions and prayer time? Or setting ground rules like mandatory quiet times (like we had at Longlac)? Or is it more about leading by example (which doesn't always work)?
I'm looking for advice and/or ideas. What do you think it means to be a spiritual leader of the family? What does it take? Feel free to leave me your thoughts.. thanks!