As we cap out 2020, it would be an understatement to say that leading is tough business.
Ministry leadership, in many ways, is even tougher than corporate leadership. There are myriad reasons I believe that is true. One of the most pronounced is simply that corporate leadership is ultimately about growth and profitability, while ministry leadership is about the family of God—and that is complicated.
One of the ways ministry leaders not only survive, but thrive, is by getting to the bedrock of their humanness and letting God both heal and reconstruct who they are.
For literally thousands of ministry leaders, the work of Dr. John Walker and Dr. Charity Byers has been instrumental.
I’m one of those leaders.
Recently, when I read their new book, Unhindered, I decided to share some insights in this blog that I believe will pay dividends for you personally and in your ministry.
Here are a few insights through my Q&A with Dr. Charity Byers:
How did you come to understand the process for transformation and growth that’s shared in your incredible new book, Unhindered?
The process of inside-out change that’s shared in Unhindered hasn’t just been learned through study and academics. It’s also been learned through God refining our own hearts as He asked both of us (John and Charity) to surrender the old and receive the new.
Thanks to a defining moment of being embarrassed in front of his classmates when he was a kid, John spent much of his life convinced that he was stupid. As the inadequacy within him went ignored and unmanaged, he spent his life depending on his preparation and skill to feel successful and valuable. Achieving 4.0 GPAs in his masters and PhD programs and becoming the COO of a hospital at age 36 failed to prove to John that he was enough.
As Blessing Ranch Ministries formed, God put John in very strategic positions where his competency wasn’t enough. These situations enabled him to hear, “Now that you know that you can’t do it, let me show you that I can.”
Exposing flawed lessons learned in life primed John to let God rewrite the contents of his heart to include deep security, trust, and dependency. Simultaneously, God was teaching him how to articulate the process of freeing a heart from the old and leading it into the new. And so, 25 years ago, what would become Unhindered began.
When I (Charity) joined the ministry 10 years ago, God had some rewriting to do in my heart, too. As God pulled me from the grips of insecurity and shame in my heart, I saw first-hand what it took to partner with God and edit the story of my heart. He led me to find my voice and step out of the shadows.
How will Unhindered help guide leaders into 2021?
The compounding events and circumstances of 2020 have opened a window into our hearts. Stress, change, tension, and hardship can expose unrecognized or previously hidden behavior. Maybe you’ve experienced unusual irritability, unescapable worry, overbearing control, or a craving for the numbing of alcohol.
Instead of judging or suppressing these things, let’s get curious about what they are revealing about our hearts. The window we’ve been given into our hearts is a true gift!
Our hearts are showing us the outward evidence of what lies below—fear, shame, rejection, abandonment. The story of our hearts carries our past pain and deepest meanings, influencing all we think, say, and do in our lives.
Unhindered is a one-of-a-kind book that is a roadmap, not just a good read. It puts together all the pieces of understanding and strategy needed to finally let God turn the site of your wounding into the source of your genius. It provides a step-by-step guide to follow to say no to the unwanted and often unseen influences within and say yes to Him even more. This strategic process empowers you to find the security, freedom, and peace that your head knows you should have, but your heart has yet to experience.
We must be leaders equipped to get to the heart of the matter—our hearts. If we know how to lead our hearts well, we’ll lead others well, too.
It’s easy as an outsider to theorize the right answers. Most leaders can even teach the right answers to others. But when we are in the midst of it, we get stuck moving these things from their heads to their hearts. How does Unhindered help?
Leaders come to us all the time who are suffering from the Two Gospels Syndrome, knowing the right answers in their heads, yet lacking experience in their hearts. Unintentionally, they’ve made themselves the exception to God’s truths. For example, a leader may be known for boundless grace with others yet withhold the same gift from himself, consequently drowning in shame and self-condemnation.
This isn’t a matter of too little faith or disbelief in truth. There is something in the heart that is competing with the truth. Unhindered challenges the Two Gospels Syndrome by showing us how to move the truth from knowledge into experience. It teaches a transformational process that helps shed the unwanted influence of the past to receive freely the invitation of God to live within the grip of grace, peace, security, trust, and surrender.
What types of services does Blessing Ranch Ministries offer to guide leaders through healing, transition, or change?
The initial calling included the vision of being both a resource and renewal center for Christian leaders.
The last 30 years have been focused on renewal through intensive counseling. During the intensive experience, leaders receive deep investment in their hearts by a psychologist while also experiencing powerful communion with God.
The transformational model we use is built on a symbiotic relationship between psychology and theology. Those two aren’t interchangeable or equal, however. We see theology as the truth that guides and psychology as the meaningful application of the truth. This all comes together to create meaningful understanding of the story of the heart.
As I assumed leadership of Blessing Ranch Ministries in 2017, I felt God asking me to prioritize the resource side of the original vision. We’ve begun focusing on building a broader future to allow the transformation work of Blessing Ranch Ministries to reach Christian leaders in new ways. Developing Unhindered and its supporting materials does that.
Over the coming year, our goal is more expansion of resource opportunities like coaching, group experiences, and additional curriculum. We want to continue to make the transformational process God has shown us more and more accessible to the Church so we can collectively be fully available to say yes to everything God needs from us to spread His love and His Word across this world.