We learned that how we show up defines each of us as a person and as a leader.

By Lauri Broady

It was an awful day at work, the check engine light came on, you forgot to pick up milk like you were asked, and you have a splitting headache. When you get home, your spouse really wants to talk with you about his mother. Do you blow him off? Listen with only a half an ear? Snap at him?

Or do you set aside your fatigue to give him the support he needs? How will you show up?

Many of us charge through life full speed ahead. Sometimes, we need to slow down. To just walk—to “Faithwalk.”

This is what eight of us did on a chilly day at the end of January. We came together for a Faithwalking retreat. Faithwalking is a spiritual formation process to help people follow Jesus better, experience transformation, and live missionally. It’s a piece of the Ridder Church Renewal process.

The eight of us came from four New York churches: Reformed Church of Canajoharie, Reformed Church of Fort Plain, Currytown Reformed Church in Sprakers, and St. John’s Reformed Church in St. Johnsville. Nancy Ryan, pastor of Reformed Church of Fort Plain, led us. We sat around a table, unsure of what was to come. We came with baggage of all kinds: personal demons, family issues, money problems, and health concerns. But we had two things in common: a love of Christ and a willingness to participate.

We showed up. We were ready to be open, willing to learn, and about to start to really find out what is asked of each us every time, and in every place, that we show up.

The Ridder process asked us to embark on a Faithwalking journey. Faithwalking helped us make slow but steady progress toward being missional, being disciples, crossing boundaries, and participating fully in a missional community as we work together towards finding God’s emerging future for us.

As our team began to meet together regularly, we grew in our faith and began to walk the walk together. We also learned how to show up.

“How will you show up?” means essentially, “What is my role going to be in this situation?” If we come home exhausted to an upset spouse, are we the one who rolls over and gives up and says, “Whatever you think, dear,” just to end the conversation? Even if that means that the next day we feel resentful that no compromise was made?

We learned that how we show up defines each of us as a person and as a leader. How we show up dictates whether we will see successful relationships and results or negative experiences.

Learning how to show up was our group’s first step towards emotional maturity. When we face a new situation, we have learned to stop, breathe, and ask ourselves, “Is this the way that I want others to see me? Is this the way that I can be most effective? Am I showing up in the way that I want to be?”

Instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?” now we ask, “How would Jesus show up? How will we?”

Lauri Broady is a deacon at Reformed Church of Fort Plain in upstate New York.