Spiritually Attuned Leadership for a Generation of Esthers

May 20, 2024

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to connect with a bunch of leaders who have some kind of “balcony view” of the church, in that they lead networks of leaders. 

My favorite conversations are the ones where we’re exchanging notes on what we’re seeing and sensing regarding what God is up to in this season.

A Generation of Esthers

A major theme that I am seeing is one of a multitude of women being called forth to step into roles and spaces of significantly greater influence. Many have just come out of, or are still in, a “beautification” (a.k.a. crucible) season of formation …  and now they somehow find themselves with much bigger shoes to fill.

I’ve been experiencing it myself, so I can speak to some of the dynamics at play firsthand. For some of my backstory, I began the effort which has now become Attune more than eight years ago. At Attune, we help leaders cultivate healthier, more adaptive teams by training them in how to better tap into God’s presence and guidance for their daily work and leadership. The work we do is pretty unusual. It’s not really a “thing” yet – so it’s been a small, fringy, largely hidden effort for pretty much all of these years.

As an Enneagram 3, Chinese, former engineer who feels okay in the world by “doing things right,” it’s been at times a very rough journey. There have been days and weeks and months of anxiety and insecurity, as I’ve been reminded again and again of how limited I am in my understanding of what God is even calling us to, much less how to “do it right.” And yet, in these crucible seasons, Jesus has formed my heart and character, and even more importantly drawn me in closer to him and deeper into the soil of his marvelous love. 

And now, from this place of belovedness, I’ve seen the context in which I lead begin to shift. About a year ago, I sensed God tell me it was “go time” in a new way. And shortly thereafter, the world around me seemed to all of sudden start responding to me and the work of Attune in new, much more responsive ways. Our message and our work was more or less the same, but the receptivity for it somewhat inexplicably multiplied exponentially.

The Need for Spiritual Attunement

The stakes now feel higher, with more to lose for when I “get it wrong.” And things are getting more complex as our organization and ecosystem begins to grow.

What has become obvious to me – both in my own shoes as well as for the many other “Esthers” we get to walk alongside – is the importance of learning how to better tap into God’s presence and guidance to help us navigate these risky, uncertain, and challenging waters.

Granted, it’s somewhat self-serving to recognize the need for precisely the training Attune is called to provide, but it seems obvious to me that in these Esther seasons, we are in dire need of more of God’s strength, peace, power, and wisdom.

How about you?

Do you find yourself in an Esther season, where you sense God inviting you into a new initiative, position or effort …  perhaps putting you in a place of influence that is way above your paygrade? Or do you, perhaps find yourself in a crucible season that might just be preceding something like this?

If so, might you be interested in a bit more of God’s presence and power?

The Practice of Spiritual Attunement

For anyone of you who sense you may be in an Esther season, we invite you to try out I Am the Lord’s Servant, a 20 minute attunement exercise based on the story of Mary, another “Esther” called to fill very big shoes. This exercise is designed to help you tap into more of God’s presence and guidance for you around this new initiative, role or effort.  If you like, you can also use this worksheet to aid in your attunement.

With some practice and repetition, spiritual attunement is something you can grow in – allowing you to continually walk in step with Jesus, by his Spirit as you continue on your journey.  

More about Attune’s approach to spiritual attunement training can be found on Attune’s website. Other helpful steps you can take include finding a spiritual director, as well as practicing other forms of listening oriented prayer, such as Immanuel Journaling, Ignatian spiritual practices, or the Immanuel Prayer.

We encourage you to find other Esthers to practice and grow with, and to explore many different approaches to experiencing God to find the ones that work best for you. This could be a critical step in allowing you to play the roles God has for you –  for “who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Tracy Mathews

Tracy Mathews

As the founder of Attune, Tracy is honored to be tasked with cultivating spiritually-attuned leadership within an array of inspiring organizations. Attune offers tools and training to help teams slow down, listen deeply, and tap into more of God’s guidance for the decision making, strategic direction setting, and team building of organizational leadership.  Prior to launching Attune, Tracy led strategy and business development for Coskata, Inc., an early-stage industrial biotech company, and has also held positions at McKinsey & Company and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. She holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Washington, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Tracy and her husband Jeff enjoy frequent campfires and occasional water balloon fights with their two sons, Eli and Isaiah.
View Author

Related Articles