Building a community without examples is very difficult. As I said before you need more mature people to be examples.This has been the most difficult area of our building community. A more mature person can be an example the community can emulate. An example would be a Rabbi teaching his students. The students end up walking like the Rabbi, talking with the same nuances, studying, and wearing the same clothing as the Rabbi. They constantly watch the Rabbi because they want to become like him. It is the same in community. Our members want to know how to live a spiritual life. They want a new identity. Jo and I are the only people who are in that position. That means we have to be very transparent. When we make mistakes, misspeak or have a large foot in our mouths – we stand up and repent and take responsibility. Our community comes in need of understanding how repentance releases them from their sins and allows them to draw closer to God. They come believing their identity is what their perpetrators defined for them and they come with attachment disorders.
As a leader you need to be vulnerable, open and loving. It has taught me humility which I certainly needed! You also need patience which has not been one of my strengths! Community helps everyone and everyone benefits from participation. I have learned a great deal about my identity – I am not as wonderful as I thought and that was a shock. I am human with flaws – not just flaws but F-L-A-W-S which I have to confess and talk about and that is a very painful process. What I have learned is while I am not wonderful – My Savior is wonderful, counselor and the Prince of Peace. I believe He put me in a position where I am weak to show me He is strong and I can lean on Him even in my humiliation.