The question we were asked in session 2 was "what drives you?" This, of course, hits home in every part of our lives, not just the churchy bits. But in spiritual terms the danger is acute: the danger of deriving our affirmation and identity from the externals of our life. Christian leaders who are driven by the need to achieve and succeed are locked into a vicious circle of constant activity in order to provide themselves with the positive feedback that they crave. On the other hand, if we derive our identity from our relationship with Christ, our calling by him and in him, then we are liberated from the need to achieve, and our motives are re-aligned.
What's interesting about this is that, initially at least, it would be quite hard to tell the difference. Many leaders are by nature, quite activistic: people who are good at getting things done. A leader who is utterly Christ-centred could easily be just as active and high-achieving as one who is doing it for more selfish motives. And so, quite terrifyingly, we could actually fool the people around us into thinking we are deeply rooted in Christ when in fact we are far from him. It's happened before, and it will happen again.
This also reflects on the role of the clergy. Traditionally, the Church of England has favoured priests and bishops who are contemplative and/or pastoral in the way they do things. But the culture is changing. Increasingly, a church desperate for change is looking for people who can lead, offer vision and direction, get things done. This is probably a good thing, if we can somehow prevent the pendulum from swinging too far. But there is a danger. What we hope to get is a generation of church leaders who are apostolic leaders and spiritual visionaries. But what we might end up with is a generation of self-important manager types, who talk a good game but have no inner substance.
The balance between the active life and inner spirituality is always a challenge for the Christian, especially so for busy leaders. But if call comes first, and competence second, we're going the right way.