Other Updates:

Reflections on Leading a GRIP Team Process

Introducing Discerning Direction Together

5 Reasons to Attend Set in Motion

Dissecting the Dotted Diamond

Resilience in Ministry

The Allure of Structure

When the Gas Tank is Empty

I’m not going to the Shell station as much these days.  Working from home has left me with extended seasons of avoiding my car’s source of energy.  Before this season, I would often fill up once a week, sometimes more, driving from one location to another in my current role.

And yet, for many of us humanly, this season has done the opposite.  We have found that we need to find new ways to refill our energy more frequently with the constant new onslaught of changes we are experiencing.  And with each hoped for relief, we realize there is yet another new change we must endure.  School is starting… but online, or blended, or with masks.  Church groups will meet… but online, or at the church instead of home, or with a shower of sanitizer before you arrive or depart.  

So, let’s pause.  And reflect.  When we’re already running on less than a quarter tank of gas, and we experience another drain, what happens?

Spiritually, we are at risk.  We will see Gift liabilities show up more readily as we try to use our Spiritual Gifts in the flesh.  We will find from a team perspective, we will dig into what we personally bring, neglecting to be as attentive to those around us. We are more self-focused. Our grace for others is diminished. 

Naturally, we are at risk.  The margin between our Birkman® Usual behaviors and our Stress behaviors can be razor thin, meaning when we are depleted, we will see our Stress behaviors jump out more frequently and oftentimes last longer.  If we think of our Underlying Needs as the gas tank, and when we are empty we see stress responses, it becomes clear why a full tank is so relevant.  Check out the images here to graphically depict this idea:

So what do we do?

To counteract and address the source of these, we have to go to the source of replenishment.  Spiritually, that is rest for the weary. Psalm 23:5 tells us that he makes our cup run over.  And Matthew 11:28-30 talks about finding rest with Jesus, and coming to him when we are weary. 

  • Spend time with Jesus.  In worship.  In prayer.  In song.  In reading.  In soaking in Him in silence and solitude. 

He has also provided the Body of Christ to spiritually renew us as we lean on others, and welcome others who are fulfilling 1 Peter 4:10, using their Gifts to serve.  Galatians 6:2 reminds us to carry one another’s burdens.  This can only happen when we choose to engage with others.  

  • Continue to use one or more of your Spiritual Gifts consistently.  
  • Share your emptiness with close friends to allow them to use their Gifts with you.

Naturally, it requires that we know ourselves.  Two areas to focus on in times of depletion are:  Top Interests you have, and your underlying Needs from your Birkman report.  

  • Review your top 2 interests and find an activity you can do to engage in these activities. That is, dip into your areas of interest to replenish yourself.
  • Review your underlying Needs and prayerfully consider what is one new thing you can do to meet one Need.  
  • Share with one person about a new activity or practice you are going to try to meet an Underlying Need.

God called us to live in unity.  That requires that we model the behaviors we want to see in others.  For this to work, we must learn to rest in Jesus’ lap, share the emptiness to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us up, and carefully walk with others in the Body of Christ.  

Even in our brokenness, Jesus is there.  Even in our weakness, the Holy Spirit is strong.  And in our openness to Him, we are able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death without fear. 

© Copyright 2022 - GRIP-Birkman - a product of I to We, Inc