We usually know how to lead an event, a worship set, a meeting. A moment.
But what about a ministry, a team, a department, an organization? A decade?
Anytime you, as a leader, are saying “I’m a good leader, they’re just bad followers” you’re in denial. You must take responsibility for your actions. If you’re being defensive, posturing yourself, or being political, it’s likely because you’re weary, have been hurt, and have taken on offenses.
If you say things like “if they would just let me (fill in the blank), then I could (fill in the other blank),” you're missing half of what leadership is about. Leadership starts with vision from the Lord and then partners with Him to figure a way to move forward with it. If a God-initiative fails, it's very likely that it just wasn't led well.
Are you jaded, caustic, negative, sarcastic, and paranoid? What are the loudest voices influencing you?
Have you shut yourself off relationally to people around you because of tiredness and wounding. The fact is: you’re going to get wounded as a leader. So what’s your plan when it happens?
Are you having an identity crisis? Listen to what you’re saying. Is it things like “Do they want me to be their leader?” or “If only they were 100% behind me…” That sounds like fear has gripped you and you are no longer led by what the Father has said about you.
When you ask yourself what the Lord is teaching you through a challenging leadership experience, do you just say “nothing…just don’t do that again!”? Remember the executive who cost his company 10 million dollars? When his boss called him in, naturally the executive presumed he’d be fired, but his boss said “Fire you?! I just spent 10 million dollars educating you!” In the same way, God uses every experience to deepen, strengthen, shape, and refine you…He’s investing! Pay attention and take some notes.
You may be in a Psalm 73 moment right now…don’t betray the generation of His children. Guard your tongue. Enter the sanctuary of God. Take responsibility for your actions, your failures, and learn from them. I was taught by my choir director in college that “there are no bad choirs, only bad choir directors.” I take from that, that it’s my responsibility. Seek God. Build rapport. Lead wisely. Lead well. And whatever you do, don’t lead alone.
Fill yourself with great books like:
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership (John Maxwell)
- Who Stole My Church? (Gordon MacDonald)
- Switch (Chip & Dan Heath)
- Made To Stick (Chip & Dan Heath)
- Today We Are Rich (Tim Sanders)
- Simple Church (Thom Rainer & Eric Geiger)
- Radical (David Platt)
- Onward (Howard Schultz)
One final thought. Often, as leaders, our inheritance is sat upon by giants. But God says “are you not well able?” Like Caleb, you’re going to say, “Give me my mountain.” (Joshua 14:12) God may then ask you to “Speak to the mountain” (Matthew 21:21). What will your response be?