Being a leader is rarely easy. Sometimes, perhaps more often than you’d like to admit, your faith life suffers. There’s one more committee meeting to convene rather than spending time in prayer or Bible study. There’s planning to finish for the cluster meeting rather than worshiping God with others in your community. Not only does your faith life suffer, but also the vitality and fruitfulness of your ministry suffers. The real danger to those of us who see ourselves as doing God’s work is that we get so caught up in our ministries that we fail to recall and be with the very source of our life, God.
The twelfth century mystic, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, understood this dilemma. “If you are wise,” Bernard wrote, “you will show yourself a reservoir and not a channel. For a channel pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits until it is full before it overflows. And so communicates its surplus . . . We have all too few such reservoirs in the Church at present, though we have channels in plenty.”