Transforming leaders — may their tribe increase!

Dear Friend,

It is hard to remember a time when the topic of leadership and character has been more pressing on our minds and hearts. The most oft-repeated sentiment I heard during the recent presidential election was some version of “Since I can’t vouch for either candidate’s character I am going to vote for their policies.”

This statement was always accompanied by consternation, confusion, and even sorrow; no ­Christian wants to cast their vote for someone who has lied, spun the truth to cover up their ­mistakes, cheated, bullied, harassed, demeaned and/or been unfaithful to life’s most precious commitments—whatever their policies might be. But such has been our dilemma in recent months.

Connecting Character and Leadership

At the same time, thoughtful people can’t help wondering, “Doesn’t the quality of one’s character and their basic values shape their policies? Doesn’t character produce our attitudes, behaviors and choices—especially when we are under pressure?” The answer is “Yes, of course it does!”

And that’s why the Transforming Center exists…to guide leaders in an ongoing process of transformation that produces character—the will and the wisdom, the passion and the perseverance to work for the good of all in Jesus’ name, mediating his presence in a hurting and broken world. This kind of leader is able to do the right thing at the right time in the right way because they are increasingly attuned to the Spirit of Jesus within.

Through our two-year Transforming Community experience, pastors and elders, business and ­community leaders, activists and contemplatives learn how to:

  • Lead from their souls—that place where God is present to us
  • Be still and listen for the still, small voice of God regarding the issues they face
  • Increase self-knowledge through self-examination so they can recognize and turn away from false-self patterns and motives
  • Discern and do the will of God so they can participate in God-guided action in the world rather than relying on human wisdom
  • Engage in loving, respectful, mutually-influencing relationships with other leaders who are different than themselves
  • Cultivate sacred rhythms to sustain them for the long haul of their life in leadership

Any one of these by itself would be no small thing in this midst of the leadership crisis in which we find ourselves today; our leaders experience all this and more when they join a ­Transforming Community!

Fifteen years of Transforming Leadership

Fifteen years after our founding in December of 2001, I could not be any more proud of the work we do with leaders or any more convinced of its importance. While we cannot fix ­everything that is wrong in our world right now, we can continue to strengthen the souls of leaders, cultivating their character and their commitment to lead from their transforming selves. And we can take courageous steps toward the vision God has given us the privilege to see—a vision that includes a more fully-orbed approach to cultivating transforming leaders who lead transforming churches and communities.

With this letter we are launching a year of celebration in which we reflect back on all that God has done in the last fifteen years and all he is yet to do. Won’t you join us in affirming all that God has done, and all he’s yet to do by making the Transforming Center a part of your generous giving at year end?

Through the generosity of friends like you, we are asking God for $60,000 by December 31 to complete the 2016 funding of the not-for-profit rate we offer pastors and ministry ­leaders who join a Transforming Community.   

Even as we witness the leadership crisis in our culture, we give thanks for transforming leaders who recognize that the best thing they bring to leadership is their own transforming selves. May their tribe increase!

With you on the journey of transforming leadership,
Ruth Barton
Ruth Haley Barton

P.S. If you too are concerned about the crisis of leadership in our culture, there is something you can do.  Support a ministry whose sole mission is to cultivate the kind of leader who is able to do the right thing at the right time in the right way because the character of Christ is being formed in them.

Your gift of any size makes a difference

The Transforming Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible under IRS regulations. Checks must be postmarked by December 31, 2016 to: Transforming Center, 209 S. Naperville Rd., Wheaton, IL 60187. For information on donating securities to the Transforming Center, email Dalene Strieff  or call 630-588-8133 x 303.

Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Seminary) is Founder and Chief Essence Officer of the Transforming Center. A teacher, seasoned spiritual director (Shalem Institute), and retreat leader, Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life including Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Sacred Rhythms, Life Together in Christ, Pursuing God’s Will Together, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Invitation to Retreat, and Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest (Oct 2022).
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Join thousands of pastors and spiritual leaders

Receive Beyond Words®, reflections on the soul of leadership. Written by Ruth Haley Barton, each reflection provides spiritual guidance and encouragement for those seeking to be in God for the world.