Spiritual Wellbeing for Leaders – Hiddenness

April 19, 2024

As leaders we may feel as though we are constantly operating in the spotlight.  The work we do is always on display to those we lead, to those we serve, and to those we report to.  Some thrive from the constant attention while others wilt under what they perceive to be constant scrutiny.  As Christian leaders it is critical that we make time to step away and practice “Hiddenness” with Jesus.  That is the topic of Session 4 of author Brian Heasley’s five-part Bible study "Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times.” 

You never have to read very long in the gospels before you come across a verse such as Mark 1:35: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”  While the gospels are full of the ministry and activity of Jesus’s public life, they are also packed full of times when He withdrew to pray and seek the Father in His private life.  Luke 5:16 states emphatically that this was a practice Jesus did often.  If it was good enough for Jesus, perhaps we should give this practice new consideration. 

We have been discussing over the past three months the need for Christian leaders to develop a quiet time regimen and some of the essential spiritual practices of a quiet time such as prioritizing time to “be still” in our hectic schedules, making time for scripture, and inspiring our creativity by seeking moments of wonder.  Author Brian Heasley adds a fourth element for us to consider: quiet time should be hidden. 

Our efforts to build the other practices we have examined into our quiet time will be greatly undermined if we are constantly subject to interruptions.  It is hard to listen for God’s quiet guidance if we are being interrupted by our phones, friends, or family.  But what does “hidden” exactly mean, and why is it essential that as believers and Christian leaders we make time to be alone with God?  Jesus gives us the answer in the familiar passage of Matthew 6:5-7 where He instructed His disciples on how to pray.   

In verse 6 Jesus says, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”  The word translated secret in many translations can also mean “hidden.”  Jesus is telling us to practice hiddenness, not out of shame for our faith, but so that we can be alone with God in our quiet times.   

Heasley lists multiple benefits to practicing hiddenness in our quiet time such as we learn dependence on God, we find comfort, we are nourished, and we learn lessons from Him that are unique to us.  For leaders there are other benefits: we, if albeit briefly, eliminate distractions, silence competing arguments, eliminate outside influence, find a place to calm our minds, and discover peace.  What a blessing to emerge from our quiet time with a clear head, a lighter heart, and perhaps even with insights into decisions we are facing.   

Learn more about this topic in Heasley’s fourth lesson “Hiddenness” at RightNowMedia@Work. If you do not have access to RightNowMedia@Work to view the  "Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times” series, Baylor provides free access to all faculty and staff at: https://app.rightnowmedia.org/join/BaylorUHumanResources

After viewing session 4, consider setting aside 5 minutes today where you can disconnect from technology and interruptions and spend time seeking God.