Leadership Advent

by Cath Tallack

[3 minute read + reflection]


Christmas traditions are one of the most beloved things about the season. We are in a world that is, at times, shaking off the more traditional elements of culture and giving reign to free thought, individualism and championing creativity and entrepreneurship. We are in a world that seems focused on embracing the new and different. In this world, we can fall victim to losing some of the traditions that, through a season, help us to reflect and be reminded of the real meaning of what we’re celebrating and dates in a calendar.

In many ways that is the story of Advent, a tradition that many of us embrace at Christmas because it means 24 days of surprises (chocolate, Lego, scratchies, stationery, whatever floats your boat), but also reminds us of where we are in the Christian calendar, preparing us and grounding us in the real meaning of what the Christmas trees, carols, gifts and all that sparkle and tinsel represent – the birth of Christ.

Preparing for the season in my devotional space, I have been using NT Wright’s ‘Advent for Everyone’[1]. This has caused both rich and deep reflection on the first coming of Jesus to earth but also to look forward to the second coming. In the introduction to the study Wright says

“We celebrate Jesus’ first coming, and use that sense of fulfilment to fuel our hope for his second coming between the first Advent and the second. That is one way of saying what it means to be a follower of Jesus.”

As I’ve been thinking about this looking back / looking forward rhythm of Advent, it has reminded me of just about every conversation I’ve had recently with Christian leaders who have all been saying similar things, something along the lines of, “2020 has been tough and I’m really looking forward to 2021” to which I usually reply, “me too.” This common reflection caused me to think about how we’ve led in 2020, what we ought to leave behind and what we should be taking with us. It will be different for all of us but there are some common elements that as Christian leaders we should take into consideration.

By my count, (as this blog goes out) we have 8 days of advent left and so I thought now would be a great time to take stock of your leadership and each day reflect on some questions that provoke thinking on what has been and what is to come. You might choose to just take time now to answer these 8 questions, or perhaps you might integrate them into your daily rhythm of devotion. However you want to engage with these questions, my encouragement is that you will take this moment in time to consider your own effectiveness, heart and vision as a leader and use your learnings to motivate you into the next season that God is calling you to. Who knows…. you might even get a little Spiritual, advent surprise along the way.

[1] ‘Advent For Everyone: A Daily Devotional, NT Wright, 2017


8 Day Leadership Advent