Journaling – Coaching Session


I am a strong proponent that every leader should try to raise his or her self-awareness level, self-reflection level, self correction level, and the best tool that I know for doing that is journaling. I carry a leather-bound journal with me every place I go and every time I am in a very difficult situation whether I’ve caused the problem or the problem is externally derived – whatever – I say, ‘God, I know you’re trying to teach me something during this storm or this hardship. What are you trying to teach me?’ And then I write and I see what the Holy Spirit moves in my mind and I write until usually – not all the time, but usually – I can come up with a sentence that says it about the way that I think the Holy Spirit’s trying to communicate it to me and then I put a box around it and I try to collect those and then sometimes they find their way into my preaching.

But I think whenever you can come up… I wrote a book called ‘Axioms’, where there’s just a phrase that is true and it reoccurs again and again and it becomes truer and truer the further you go in your life and so you depend on it a little bit more and more. So one that comes to mind during a great, great storm in my life, it was associated with the building of this building actually, but I got so discouraged I went out on a boat and I was in a bad way, I don’t know how to say it other than that. I was like, “God I need a word from you and I’m not going to go back to shore until you give me a reason for hope, I’m going to stay in Lake Michigan” (a large body of water) …and I was way out and you know I said, “I am NOT going, I will not go back to land until you talk to me because I can’t lead the church in the spirit that I’m in right now”.

Couple hours later I just felt the movement of the Holy Spirit and I ran down below to get something to write with and what I found myself writing on the papers, a phrase I gave to you earlier this morning, “Bill you are a treasured child of the Most High God, you’re measuring yourself on the success of this financial campaign which is not going well right now, don’t, please don’t measure your worth by how your performance is going right now, you are a treasured child of the Most High God! So that’s who you are, don’t ever forget that”. And you know as you said I’ve got probably a dozen of those that have come from just wrestling with God and trying to come out the other side with some little bit of hope in place but journaling is… if you don’t carry a journal and ask yourself, “What am I learning? What am I feeling? Why am I wrestling with this? What decision do I have to make? What’s going to get me out of this?”…you’re missing one of the richest parts of what leadership can be about.

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