The Less Anxious Presence

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

The leader’s main job, through his or her way of being in the congregation, is to create an emotional atmosphere in which greater calmness exists–to be a less anxious presence. “Knowing everything” is not necessary to be a healthy, competent leader. When you can be a less anxious presence, there is often enough experience and wisdom in the group for the group itself to figure out its own solutions to the challenges it faces. When a leader cannot contribute to this kind of atmosphere, the thinking process in the group are short-circuited, and people become more anxious and more emotionally reactive and make poorer decisions.

Ronald W. Richardson, Creating a Healthier Church, p.173

Try it. Take the emotional temperature, then do what you can to drop it a few degrees by being less anxious than the people around you. You can start by saying, “We can figure this out.” Then, define the problem, weigh your options, and seek input on the best way forward. Finally, get to work.