Rhythms of Healthy Leadership w/ Cara Garrity
Hello friends and welcome to the latest episode of GC Podcast. This podcast is devoted to exploring best ministry practices in the context of Grace Communion International churches.
Michelle: I’m your guest host, Michelle Fleming, and today I’m blessed to interview Cara Garrity. Cara is a single mom to two cats and two dogs.
She’s almost always down for a concert, musical, or to check out a new restaurant, but you might all know her best as the GCI Development Coordinator and the usual host of this podcast. We’re switching roles today so we can draw from Cara’s experience as we discuss rhythms of healthy leadership.
Cara, welcome to your own podcast, and thanks for being a guest.
Cara: Absolutely. Thank you for being also a guest. Fun to be on the other side of the mic today.
[00:00:52] Michelle: Yeah, it’s an honor to sit in your chair and I’m excited to hear about your experiences with Rhythms of Healthy Leadership. As we kick it off, what does healthy leadership mean to you?
[00:01:02] Cara: This is such a rich question to me. There’s a lot; we don’t have all the time to dive into all the different aspects, but there are a couple of pieces that I think are important to draw out.
I think the first thing, when we think about healthy leadership and defining what that means is to first name that health, and our idea of what healthy leadership is, has to be defined in Jesus. There’s so many ways that we could define health, but as Christian leaders, we have to define it in who Jesus is and who he has called and created humanity to be. And so, I think about that in terms of all of humanity, but then also each of us personally and what that looks like for us, who we are as me, Cara, you, Michelle, each one of us within the larger humanity and story of humanity.
And so, when I think about healthy leadership, really the foundation to me is discipleship. How are we growing into the people that God has created us to be? Because he’s really the one that knows what health looks like for all of humanity.
To me, that’s the foundation. And the other piece that I think about that sometimes is easy for us to miss, I think, is that that means that healthy leadership is also holistic. Because God saw fit to make us holistic beings, right? And I think often when we think of healthy leadership in the church, we can be tempted to just think about the spiritual aspects or how well do we know our theology or our biblical knowledge.
And those are all very important things. And we are whole beings and that’s not our design, that’s God’s design. And so, when we think about health, there’s so many aspects that come into what it means to be a whole human. So, I think about things like physical health, mental health, relational health, then also our spiritual health. What does that look like? Social health. And so, I think that’s a piece that when we’re looking at what health looks like in terms of our intended creation in God and our redeemed calling in Christ. I think that it’s very holistic.
With that, another piece that I think is really cool to think about is that happens in community. Health happens in community because, we’re made in the image of God and Father, Son, and Spirit. Relationship. Relationship.
[00:03:56] Michelle: Yeah, that’s really rich. And I think it can be really simple to say that Jesus is our foundation. But I think it is really beautiful the way that you unpack that in bringing in the holistic aspect as well. Because I think in that, we’re acknowledging who he is, and we’re acknowledging who we are in him. We’re acknowledging our capacity.
And I think that can be—if we’re going to look for a non-example—some of the unhealthy leadership we see is when we take on being the savior. We take on being the one to bring healing. We take on being the one who knows and has the power.
And that’s not what we see in Jesus, in who he is, and how he lived out his ministry. And that’s not how he’s calling us to minister. I think all of the aspects that you brought out really unpacked it in a simple and full way.
Also, the community aspect was something I was thinking about when you were talking about it too, because healthy leadership can’t happen in isolation either. I really love how you just outline that so succinctly, but so richly. Thank you for starting us out with that focus.
[00:05:07] Cara: Absolutely. And I love how you said the non-example too, is when we step out of that design that God has. Oh, we do want to be what God didn’t intend for us to be as leaders in his church. And we’re often easily tempted to do that.
[00:05:52] Michelle: I even think about even just in my own experiences, the times that I’m refined more to be like Christ are the times when I am leading community, where I’m open and receptive to a loving word of truth received from others, when I’m open and receptive to see how someone else might be imaging Jesus in a way and a gifting that I’m not able to, but in welcoming that in, makes our team better.
[00:05:55] Cara: And that brings up for me another piece of healthy leadership that I think practically is important when we think about it in the community context and on the personal level. Are we leading in response to our own gifting and calling?
Because I think that’s a healthier expression when we’re able to do that. I think of the image of the body of Christ, right? Let a hand be a hand, right? That’s healthier than a hand trying to be a nose because what does a hand know about smelling stuff? That’s funky. It’s not good for the hand or the whole body for that to happen.
And so, I think that’s better for the whole community. I think it’s more in alignment with again the personal kind of way that God is calling and shaping us within that larger, like how has God redeemed all of humanity?
And it’s more healthy for the actual person. I mean we talk about, again another non-example, we find that burnout when we’re trying to be who we’re not, both on the personal level and on that larger human level. Like you said, we’re not the saviors, and we’re also not a nose if we’re actually gifted to be a hand, right?
And so, stepping outside of who we are is one of the ways that we find that unhealth. And so, I think that really leading in alignment with gifting and calling is something that can be a healthy practice, but to do those things in the proper order, right? Oz Guinness is somebody that has done a lot of writing on calling, and I want to read something that he wrote in his one of his books on calling and he says: “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”
And then he goes on to say, we have the primary calling, which is this discipleship, and then the secondary calling, which is the response of how we live in our giftings and talents and how we function as the hand or the nose or whatever. But the primary, most important thing is we’re a disciple of Christ.
And so that to me is the kind of bird’s eye view of healthy leadership.
[00:08:36] Michelle: Yeah, and I love that image of just giving our whole selves because it brings out that healing, that wholeness that we’re talking about in the beginning of your response to this question that comes when we’re able to present our whole selves to Jesus and to see ourselves rightly before him.
Yes, that’s good. From your perspective as a development coordinator, what are some ways we can begin to develop healthy rhythms in our leadership? Can you share some examples, both in your personal life and also in this corporate dynamic that we’re talking about as the church?
[00:09:09] Cara: Yeah. On a really practical level, I think the first is just to begin. Because there’s no—you just got to start doing it and you test and see what’s helpful or not, what’s formative or not. And you discern in that process and in that journey and in community.
I like to think of rhythms like waves. Each one is not exactly the same. And so, if you’re waiting for the exact right formula to start, you’re never going to start. And in my view, the exact right formula is not really what a rhythm is that we’re looking for anyways. For me, what that has looked like over time has been practicing different rhythms of spiritual formation. Doing things like weekly Sabbath day of rest has been something that’s been really formational for me. Doing practices of making sure that I’m spending time in nature because that’s where I really connect well with God.
Making sure I get back into my hobby of reading because that’s where I’m able to exercise more of that imagination kind of creative aspects that I really like to have fun with and to play with. Even to play around with different rhythms of what ways of moving my body feel like healing and feel like celebrating how I exist in this world as a physical being. Ways of being in relationships with people.
So those are the ways that I’ve been thinking about and toying with. What those rhythms look like? And then not just doing them one off and sporadically, which is hard for me because I’m very spontaneous, do whatever. But then thinking about, as I try different practices and see what connects, being like what are things that I want to do on a daily basis, a weekly basis, monthly, quarterly, so that it really does become a rhythm, like things that return and then return again, so that it’s actually something that’s formational.
That’s what it’s looked like for me. In terms of what it could look like corporately or some other starting places that it could look like. Thinking about the worship calendar, that’s a whole rhythm. And so, we’re thinking corporately as a local congregation, how can we use the worship calendar intentionally as a way to develop some of these spiritual formation rhythms or rhythms of telling the story of who Jesus is and who we are because of him and growing in health as disciples that way.
How do we—maybe even in connection with the worship calendar or the annual calendar, whatever that looks like—develop rhythms of continued learning based on the competencies that our leaders need based on new leaders that are being developed. Are we intentionally engaging in a rhythm of developing and bringing up new leaders?
I think about the 4 E’s: engage, equip, empower, and encourage. Are we doing that in a way where we’re like, oh, we’re actually engaging people where they’re gifting is. And thinking about are we making a rhythm where we’re moving more towards health in that instead of again the sporadic, oh, we’ll do this whenever it feels like an emergency, and we need a new leader. But are we actually on an annual basis, on a quarterly basis, being very intentional about this.
Oh, man, I don’t know if I’m going to get myself in trouble on this, but I think too, when we think about—you mentioned earlier, not going beyond our limits as humans or not our savior. Corporately, are we creating spaces where we allow ourselves to rest?
If we’re professionally in ministry leadership, are we taking our vacations? Do we consider Sabbath rests on whatever kind of rhythm is appropriate and trying that out. For our volunteers, do we think about commitments that start maybe in a one-year term, and go from there so that we can have a rhythm of assessing what is your capacity to serve in this role.
Are you discerning right now that this is a good season? Is this still a good expression of your giftings right now? And then serving in teams, I think is a great expression or way that we can develop those rhythms because again, we get that community kind of [inaudible] where we’re moving towards more of that social relational health as we lead. I think that’s an excellent way to do that.
And then as a local congregation too, are we creating spaces to explore together and to teach one another about what this could look like, go on this journey together? Are we sharing our formational experiences? Are we sharing our journeys of mental and physical, social, relational health?
What do our discipleship spaces look like? What do our spaces look like for specifically—because we’re talking about healthy leadership rhythms—what are the spaces look like for our leaders to get together and to support one another? Our statistics in the U. S. church, particularly, are terrible for burnout of leaders because leaders don’t have that support network that I think God intended us to have.
And so, I think that’s another practical rhythm to consider. Who cares for the leaders? How do we care for one another as leaders in a rhythmic way?
[00:15:43] Michelle: Yeah. How are we really living in an integrated community? Yeah. You’ve given us a lot to think about, a lot of practical examples.
[00:15:50] Cara: Start with one.
[00:15:56] Michelle: Start with one. But I think it ties really well to your response to what we’ve been talking about in the first question. All of your personal rhythms were holistic and also about being attuned to Jesus first. Because I think some of the other kind of aspects that we’re seeing that can be detrimental to leaders, are unhealthy rhythms.
I think they come from taking it on ourselves, coming back to that. And so not just only understanding how God wired you and how to care for yourself holistically and how to intentionally connect with them, but how to build that in as touch points throughout your day. I thought that was a really rich, not that it’s a linear process, but I think it’s an important foundation.
Yeah. And then to build on that with the theological rhythms of who we are in Christ and who he is, but then also some of our corporate rhythms that are really about community building and discipleship. I think that you gave us a lot of practical examples to build onto the framework that you already gave us.
And I can tell this is something you’ve been doing for a while. What is something you wish you knew early on when you were developing your healthy rhythms of leadership? What’s something that you can help us beginners who maybe aren’t as far along on the road?
[00:17:16] Cara: This is actually less of a—I’d say was more of like a framework thing primarily, that I wish I knew earlier on as I was learning about developing rhythms of healthy leadership more so than a practical thing.
And I think that, that thing which is really foundational, that I wish that I knew earlier, is that this—not idea, but this journey, this growth, this embodiment of healthy leadership, it’s not just about the image of healthy leadership, but the reality and the messy reality of where we are as people in and as followers, in our journeys of health and discipleship really, right? And that it’s the real place of discipleship is where we grow in health, not where we wish we could be or what we think people want to see in us as leaders or what we wish we saw in ourselves, right?
Because I think when we put up that front, we rob ourselves of that opportunity to actually meet the Spirit where like he’s working right in that real place of this is where I can actually grow in health. And a lot of that is concern of maybe what we think expectations are or what people might think or even what ramifications, I guess, that might have for us as a leader.
And so, I think that’s one tangible maybe example that I could give of what that meant for me. Oh, it’s about the real and not the image. There were times early on where I think, practically speaking, I cared more about the leadership than the health.
And I had to really contend with that because there was a time I really needed to go to therapy. And I was really struggling with it, but I was like, oh man! The question for me was and the reason why I was struggling with it, was—I didn’t know at that time, or what I thought was that if I started to go to therapy, that I would have to stop being, at that time I was a GCI intern. I thought that I would have to step down from being an intern.
Because church leaders aren’t supposed to be in therapy or whatever was the impression that I had. And I think I put that off for a little bit because I was like, no, I want to be a leader and I do believe that I have this calling. And so, I have to put up this front for as long as I can so that I can be developed in leadership in this way.
But I think I robbed myself of that experience of health that God was inviting me into in that time. And finally, as he does, he wooed me. And so, this journey of healing is important, too. And I had to come to the point where I was like, hey I’m going to do this.
And I’m going to tell my pastoral supervisor. And if that does mean that I have to step down at the end of the day then that’s going to have to be what it’s going to have to be. Because you know, I had to contend with who I am as a person in Jesus is more important.
[00:20:56] Michelle: You chose discipleship over leadership.
[00:20:57] Cara: Yes! And so I think that’s what I wish I had known earlier. I think I could have saved myself—and it doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but two years of needing therapy is a long time! So, I would have saved myself that.
I think that’s one thing that I hope for you all, our listeners, is that who you are in Christ is more important than your leadership role. And that comes back to even that primary calling versus secondary calling. Who you are as a person is way more important than your job title, your ministry title, the responsibilities that you have.
And what I found out, which was a wonderful surprise, is you can be a church leader and be in therapy. I was like, ah, this is the best thing ever!
[00:21:49] Michelle: Eventually it will help you be a better church leader, a hundred percent of the time.
[00:21:50] Cara: Yes. Exactly. Yeah, that for me was really key early on.
[00:21:60] Michelle: Yeah, I just want to say thank you for your leadership and so authentically sharing that part of your story with us, because that’s the thread that I hear throughout, that example that you shared with us is that authenticity is a huge part of healthy leadership. And it’s like we were talking about before, naming ourselves before Jesus.
And I think also about the whole concept of truth and love. And I think that’s something that Jesus emphasized a lot is that they’re two sides of the same coin.
But I think in our humanity, when we try and embody that, sometimes we think in order to be loving, we have to leave out the truth. And we do that with ourselves. Being able to name the areas that we need to invite Jesus into, that Jesus, as you are sharing in your story, can lovingly shine his light into to reveal that in grace that he can remove it and heal it and make it more like him.
But I think that same principle affects our leadership with others too in that community aspect of discipleship, because none of us can be discipled as followers of Christ in isolation. We’ve heard that in every response of this question. But I think something where we all can be challenged to grow in our healthy leadership, to image Christ-like leadership, is to be willing to speak the truth in love to one another as well.
To say to one another, I don’t think this is how you want to be experienced, but this is how I’m experiencing you. Or this is my experience of us all together in this work. Is this how you’re feeling too? Instead of holding it into ourselves and then projecting blame other places.
And I think that whole concept of speaking truth and love to ourself and one another is so critical for starting out a healthy culture of leadership because it has to be a culture. It can’t just be one person.
[00:23:52] Cara: Yes. Oh, I really love that.
[00:23:58] Michelle: Yeah. Thank you for drawing it out.
All right. As we are continuing from being beginners and we’re beginning to develop our rhythms, what are some patterns or ways of thinking that get in the way of healthy leadership rhythms? And how have you addressed these things in your leadership?
[00:24:12] Cara: Yeah, I think that this is really a continuation and maybe drawing out more of the same themes that we’ve been talking about. Because I think that one of the ways of thinking that really can be a barrier is this idea of health that is like perfection, right? A perfectionism or that image that we need to maintain, or even that an idea of health is like uniform, that health looks the same for everybody and for all people in all contexts, right?
And so, I think when we have a very rigid idea of health or an idea of health that’s not grounded in who Christ is and who we are in Christ, that can be a barrier. And I think that can be really easy to have because there’s a lot of conflicting—in our context, just in this world—messages about what health is and what it can look like and all those aspects of holistic health.
Like what does relational health look like? Mental health? Spiritual health? There are so many different messages, and so I think that’s one barrier of what does health even mean. But I think especially that idea of how there’s perfection, and there’s one way to be healthy is one really key piece.
And with that, I think if we have this one perfection or this one image that we’re attaining to, then we get this mentality of performance or having to earn, right? And then we’re not coming back to that—I liked how you put—that naming ourselves as we are before Jesus. And that’s to me, it’s when we are earning and trying to perform and to do this thing, then to be like, oh, yeah, like we’re healthy enough. We’re okay. We’re good enough.
Then we miss out on Jesus meeting us or meeting Jesus (because he’s already there in those most tender spots) where we’re being most invited into that healing. And it’s just that armor that we’re wearing. I think that’s a piece that can be there.
And I think one thing that maybe reinforces that sometimes is when we have a more hierarchical idea of leadership. Because I think sometimes when we have an unhealthy idea of hierarchical leadership, oh, if I’m at the top of the pyramid, then I have to have everything right. Like that form of hierarchical leadership, because then you have to be super healthy, and you can’t ever be wrong or vulnerable.
I think that can be a barrier as well. Because then you’re not going to be working team based. It’s all about you have to have everything right. And it’s about you, not about what God is doing in your midst. You have to be the one that’s solid and knows all the answers in that unhealthy form of hierarchical leadership.
And so, health becomes something I think that is distorted in a social format like that, right? Coming back to social health and relational health, right? We’re not relating rightly with one another. Because we might think, oh, you’re better than me. You have to not have any imperfections or vulnerabilities or I’m better than you. Of course, I have to give you all the goodness that I have.
[00:28:00] Michelle: Yeah, I appreciate the way this, even in how you’re explaining it to me, ties back to your original answer to the question. That the foundation really is Jesus, because what I hear you saying is that things can get unhealthy when we try and make it a process or a linear process or a protocol that’s I do this, then I do this and then I do this and that equals perfection.
And that equals me being right. And I think healthy leadership is a relational journey, and that’s never linear. That’s never step by step, that’s never anything that I can see the end from the beginning, because Jesus is the only one who can see the end from the beginning. So, it’s a dependence on him, and it’s a reliance on relationship with him and with the people that he’s put around us.
And so, can you share with us some practical ways you’ve addressed these issues within your leadership?
[00:28:57] Cara: Yeah. I think one of the things that is like a mind shift with this is it’s about us, but it’s not about us in our leadership. Because I think part of that, when we try to make it formulaic, and we’re trying to get to that perfection or whatever is because we’re the leader, right?
And it comes back to what you said, we’re the savior. We’re the ones that have the answer. And it’s about us in the sense that God really cares for us. He is transforming us. He wants us to participate in his ministry and in his church. He calls us to lead one another in his church, to care for one another in different ways in community.
And so, it’s about us in that sense, but it’s not about us in the sense of Oh, I have to be an excellent leader. I have to attain this perfection. I have to do that. And so, I think really reminding ourselves of when we feel like that ego is coming up. I think that’s one thing for me that has been really helpful. It’s really not about me.
And even allowing myself to fail in some moments and being like, yeah, that’s okay. You fumble even a church event and being like—one of my mantras is I guess Jesus is still Lord. Because what about my leadership or lack thereof could have any impact on who he is in the coming of his kingdom.
And so, I think that’s one thing for me, that’s been helpful to address this creation of ego that I think is unhealthy in leadership. I guess Jesus is still Lord, right? And even when I think that things go well in my leadership or things have maybe been like what we might call successful is just to remind myself and not like the false humility of oh, I didn’t do anything. Yeah, God has equipped me and called me to participate in this, but I didn’t create the kingdom. I didn’t make Jesus Lord. You know what I mean? And so, I think just keeping that perspective of the right things and in the right order has been really helpful.
And then again coming back to community and people who will speak that truth in love has been something that has been something that’ll help address those patterns and ways of thinking that are barriers for me to have those friends who can say, hey you maybe have been doing this, or it seems like you’re thinking this; that seems less than what God has for you.
What do you think about that? Oh, maybe you’re right. Or let’s pray together. Or I know you’ve been trying to establish this rhythm, maybe we can do it together. Those kinds of things are another thing that have really helped me to move past those barriers that I’ve encountered because we can’t do it alone. Those barriers are—they can be strong. And so sometimes what I’ve experienced is on my own I’m not strong enough. And so, God brings me people to help me get through those barriers, and together we’re stronger.
[00:32:36] Michelle: I think that’s really good. What I hear you saying is really, to remember our invitation to check our responses, because really, I think when we get into the linear process of speaking of what brings us unhealthy patterns, that’s a sense of control. And in the end, the one thing we can control is our response. Everything else—the Holy Spirit is the wind that fuels it, our spiritual power.
And so, I think that reality check of where control really lies, and it really is in our response and an invitation to see, once again, ourselves rightly. And then in that, corporately, the idea of just humbly submitting to one another too, To remember that it’s not all on us to control by ourselves, that God gives us people to speak truth, to speak love and to the importance of naming things for one another, I think that’s what was coming up for me. That when we aren’t focused on ourselves and trying to be perfect, we can have the eyes to see how God is moving in other people’s lives. And there’s power when we can name that for one another too. I think those are great healthy practices that we can incorporate.
Thank you. You’ve given us a lot to think about and some good starting places and processes. As we wrap up, what are some encouragements or advice that you would give pastors and local leadership teams developing personal and corporate rhythms of healthy leadership?
[00:34:09] Cara: Yeah. I would say get started. Just get started, right? God is good and faithful to teach us and to invite us in. And so just because it’s not linear, it’s not formulaic, it might be messy at times and really challenging at times. But it’s a sacred process too. It’s a blessed process. And so, in that sense, there’s no right or wrong way to start because God’s the one that’s faithful in the process. Just start. Try something and discern together and see what God is doing in the midst of that. And then try something else and see what kind of rhythms develop from there.
Also, I think another thing that I found helpful that can be a good starting place too—and it’s easy to be like, yeah, just start, but where? And it’s easy to be like, oh, yeah, there’s no right or wrong. But if this is something that’s brand new, you can be like, okay, there’s no right or wrong, but I don’t even know how do I take a step? One thing that’s been helpful to me is we have a long church history tradition of people who have followed Christ in the leadership of the church.
And so, there are a lot of practices, a lot of in the different traditions within the historical church. And we can even look to, to be like, let’s try this spiritual discipline and see how this sits with us personally and corporately. Let’s look into this way of thinking about healthy leadership and holistic living. Let’s look into this.
And so, you don’t have to start from scratch to just start and keep going. There’s a long history of wisdom that we can start with too. And there’s wisdom today, and there are communities and people that are pursuing health and their leadership and discipleship today.
Again, don’t do it alone, don’t do it alone! But it’s worth it. Again, discipleship embracing a journey of healthy leadership, it’s a taste of his kingdom here on earth. It’s messy. It can be brutal. It can be joyful. It can be beautiful.
But it’s always good. Because he’s good, it could be all those things at the same time at once.
[00:37:06] Michelle: Yeah. And I hear in that encouragement for those who are beginning, also an invitation for those who may already be a little further down on this journey, to keep it fresh, because I think it’s also dynamic.
And I think we’ve been talking about discernment in this as well. That’s been a thread throughout this conversation. And I think God is constantly inviting us forward towards him. He promises, as you’ve been saying about his faithfulness, to complete the work he began. And I think in that, we are invited to be reflective in our rhythms, to keep it fresh.
To think about in this season of life, in my secondary calling (to bookend back to the beginning of the conversation), what is God inviting me into in this season? And what practices and rhythms can I inhabit in order to support that and to join with him? Yeah, thank you for that encouragement.
[00:37:57] Cara: Absolutely.
[00:37:58] Michelle: Before we head to some other portions of this podcast, what are some final words that you’d like to leave our listeners with?
[00:38:07] Cara: Have fun. You’re in the hands of one who’s capable. It’s going to be all right. He’s got you.
[00:38:19] Michelle: All right, now we’re moving into the portion that I have most been looking forward to, and I know you’re going to thrive in it. But for every other guest who’s been on the other side of this mic, we’re going to do some fun questions. So, I’m just going to throw out some questions to you, and I want you to share with us your first thoughts.
Okay. All right? What dish do you cook best?
[00:38:40] Cara: Oh, I don’t really, huh, not a great—rice. Rice, yeah. In a rice cooker.
[00:39:01] Michelle: What never fails to make you laugh?
[00:39:02] Cara: Ooh cat videos.
[00:39:03] Michelle: One of my core memories is you looking at one of your cats.
[00:39:04] Cara: Oh, yes.
[00:39:07] Michelle: So that’s relatable. That leads me up to our next question. Cats or dogs?
[00:39:10] Cara: Ooh. This is… Don’t let my babies hear this, but if I have to choose—cats.
[00:39:18] Michelle: Oh, I had a backup question because I didn’t think you were going to answer.
[00:39:21] Cara: Really?
[00:39:21] Michelle: But I appreciate your authenticity once again. Okay. Best concert experience?
[00:39:30] Michelle: I had.
[00:39:31] Cara: Oh, no, why would you do this to me?
Man, I have to choose one? If I had to choose one, if you twisted my arm, I’d have to say this year I saw Pink in concert, and I’ve been wanting to see her in concert since I was like 11. It was everything I ever thought would be. Yes. Yes.
[00:39:58] Michelle: Alright, if you had to undergo a procedure to erase memories, would you?
[00:40:03] Cara: All of the memories? Or specific ones? Specific ones, yeah. Oh, that’s a good question. Nah, I don’t think so. Yeah. Cause they make us, right? Yeah. I don’t think so. It is tempting. I had to think about it for a second, but I’m like, who would I be if I didn’t have those? I’d be a different…I don’t want to be a different. Yeah, exactly.
[00:40:31] Michelle: God’s already done the work on this version. We don’t want to start over.
[00:40:33] Cara: I don’t want to reset, exactly.
[00:40:37] Michelle: Alright, and lastly, what makes you hopeful?
[00:40:39] Cara: Ooh, that’s so good. Jesus. But like the real expression of that is just like, those little moments where you can see, where I can see and experience him in the midst of just like the craziness and the chaos and the, I don’t know, the difficulty and tragedy of life on this side of eternity.
I’m like that’s hopeful to me because it’s those like reminders of that promise that like this isn’t all that there is, like there’s more to come and that his, I don’t know, his goodness, his kingdom is resilient, that it’s like, it pops up in the most unexpected places.
[00:41:37] Michelle: Yeah, those glimmers of redemption that there’s nothing that can thwart his mission to draw us to him. Yeah. Thank you for that.
And thank you for joining us today. And thank you for being willing to be on the other side of the mic to share your experience and your wisdom with us because I think we’ve drawn out a lot in this episode.
[00:41:56] Cara: Absolutely. It’s been fun.
[00:41:58] Michelle: As is our practice, we would like to end the show with a prayer.
Would you be willing to pray for our churches, our pastors, and our ministry leaders in GCI?
[00:42:05] Cara: Yes, I’d love to. Let’s pray.
Lord God, we come before you just so thankful that you are pleased to be our God. You are so pleased to be our God that you meet us exactly where we are, that you, Jesus, came to become one of us, to walk in our shoes, to redeem us, to make us a pathway to be whole and redeemed. And we thank you that you have a plan for all of humanity, and for each and every one of us personally, that you call us by name.
God, I pray your blessing over all of our ministry leaders, our congregations, our members in GCI. You would by the presence of your Spirit, just invigorate us, embolden us to say yes to your invitation towards discipleship, health, health according to your vision and purpose. That that boldness would be enough to see us through the hardest days of this journey of discipleship and enough to help us celebrate the most joyous days, enough to get us through the confusion of the days when it’s both.
And I thank you, God, that at the end of the day you are our health. Even when we’re unhealthy, you are the promise of our health. Even on the days that we’re most weak, that you meet us in those places. It’s not on us to make ourselves healthy. It’s not on us to maintain that image or to pull ourselves up. But that we know the one who, throughout the ages, has been called the great physician.
We thank you, Lord Jesus. And we ask that we would experience you more and more each and every day, because we know that your invitation is wide open. We praise you that you are so faithful to us. And we pray this in your holy and wonderful name. Amen.
[00:44:26] Michelle: Amen. Thank you, Cara. I’m going to pass the baton back to you to cue us out.
[00:44:32] Cara: Until next time, friends, keep on living and sharing the gospel.
We want to thank you for listening to this episode of the GC Podcast. We hope you have found value in it to become a healthier leader. We would love to hear from you. If you have a suggestion on a topic, or if there is someone who you think we should interview, email us at email@example.com. Remember, Healthy Churches start with healthy leaders; invest in yourself and your leaders.