While preparing for my summer as a program assistant at Camp Ojibway, I expected God to teach me a thing or two about leadership. I had hoped he would teach me how to better lead, delegate, engage others, and plan, but God has had an almost entirely different agenda. This summer, God has drawn my attention away from being a great leader and focused on being a faithful leader.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus retreats to isolation so that he may pray. This may be the greatest lesson for leaders of all—Jesus did not practice miracles, turning water in to wine and then back in to water, but he trusted that when the time came, God would equip Him. In the same way, I have learned this summer that while leadership seminars and engaging books may help me connect with an audience, my quiet time with God ultimately governs what I can do. “As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer,” Luke 5:16 (MSG) and we have been called as leaders to do the same.
The Camp Ojibway ministry team hosted a vision retreat to help consider the future of the Camp Ojibway ministry. After we had concluded the evening meeting on the first night, I saw several people meeting in the lodge to talk about the next day. This consisted of restructuring a few things and praying over the time we would have tomorrow. Despite having already had a chance to pray over the next day, these faithful leaders trusted that God would take what they had and do miracles with it. This must have been the same sort of trust Jesus had when preparing to heal others, cast out demons, and continue to perform miracles. We are called to trust in the Lord and believe that he will equip us when the time comes.
Since learning these important lessons about leadership, my own leadership has been transformed. I have invested more time in to my quiet times with God and have sought out the isolated locations. Finding time to be alone near God and be still is one of the greatest lessons in leadership I have ever learned. I have grown in my trust that God will “equip you with everything good for doing his will” Hebrews 13:21 (NIV).
Ben Nordquist, Camp Ojibway staff