Archive for the Leadership Category

A Note About Leadership

Posted in Leadership on October 25, 2012 by nmpreach

All too often, we have in our mind leadership takes place in the sense of leading from the front.  The idea is in 1 Corinthians 11:1.  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.  (Follow)

Perhaps an example would be helpful.  As parents, we often lead our children from the front.  “Do what I say because I’m Dad.  That’s why!”

Leadership also happens at times from behind.  Again, a quote from Paul.  You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:1-2 (Encouragement – sometimes from afar)

Again an example from parenting: I’ve attempted to pour character and integrity into my children.  But eventually, they have a “free will” to make their own choices.  I must now cheer them on and hope they’ve learned lessons in the past.

Finally, leadership at times requires walking hand in hand or side by side.  Throughout the Gospels, how many times does Jesus say Come let us go?  We’re told the only way we can understand love is to understand how Christ loves(d) us.  In other words, He didn’t ask us to do anything He wasn’t willing to do Himself.  Are you willing to drink the cup?  Christ walked hand in hand with those He called. (Side by side)

Example:  Let’s go “tackle” this thing together.  This scenario of leadership often gains more respect because I don’t ask them to do anything I’m not willing to do myself.

Here’s the point:  Don’t think you can’t lead from behind or from the side.  In fact, often times the most relevant and successful leaders are leading from those places.  Don’t wait until you’re acknowledged before you lead.  As followers/disciples, we’re called to lead.  It’s what we do.  Leading from one place today doesn’t mean I won’t lead from somewhere else tomorrow.  People change, relationships change, scenarios and variables change.  It’s important we discern how to lead in each opportunity we’re given.

Thoughts?

 

Leadership Is Messy

Posted in Leadership on September 19, 2012 by nmpreach

One of my favorite titles on leadership is Never Blink In a Hailstorm.  When I first picked up the book, I noticed the humor (probably what intrigued me the most) and the seriousness regarding the subject of leadership.  David Mckenna has some great chapter titles.  Never Play God.  Never Swallow Perfume.  Never Waste An Interruption.  Never Ride A Pendulum.  But my favorite has to be the title of the book.  Subtitles in the chapter include The Loneliness of Authority, The Loneliness of Decision Making, and The Loneliness of Confidentiality – notice a pattern?  The chapter begins with these powerful words. “If you can’t stand loneliness, stay away from leadership.”

I’ve experienced this first hand.  Sometimes, leaders feel like they’re constantly swimming upstream, fighting a losing battle, all alone.  Remember Elijah and Mount Carmel?  Often times, we have to be reminded that God is with us when we remain in His will.  But He calls us to lead not to be comfortable.

The church I pastor has elders and deacons.  Ideally, the elders are to be the spiritual leaders of the church – shepherding, praying, guarding against false teaching, etc.  Deacons are ministers serving on a daily basis.  The best example is Acts 6 when the deacons are called to wait on tables.  Both descriptions are over-simplifications, but they’re sufficient for the conversation here.

I said all this to say leadership is messy.  In other words, there are tough decisions to be made.  And many times the decisions aren’t popular.  I’m sure there was grumbling when Peter or the other apostles led the early church.  Someone thought they should have done something different.  But we’re told the Church survived because leaders were more concerned about God’s will rather than being popular or chasing after their own dreams.  Leadership is tough!  I can’t wait to visit with Moses about all the grumbling in the desert.

Of course, not everyone is called to be a leader.  Not everyone in the Church is qualified to be a leader.  Sadly, there are many in the Church who have a title but fail to lead.  Billy Martin, former manager of the New York Yankees, once said, “(A successful manager) is one who keeps the five who hate you away from the four who are still unsure.”  There’s more truth in that statement than most realize.

Here’s the point:  Leadership is tough, lonely, and often times messy.  Sometimes there are wounds (real or perceived).  No one likes to be unpopular.  But if called by God, Church leaders shouldn’t be concerned with those things.  Lead.  Lead in a way that you may not be able to sleep at night but so that you can hear “Well done good and faithful servant.”  One more thing:  Leadership doesn’t require a title.  Good leadership begins with those humble enough to do the menial work no one else wants to do.  Pray for your leaders and strive to be one yourself (with or without a title).

Thoughts?