Tests of Leadership (2): When the People Push

Leadership isn’t easy. Somehow our minds have latched on to the idea that to be the leader is to oversee, kick back, and watch as everything falls into place. When the Word of God is clear, people will follow. If troubles arise, people will trust. And the leader gets to enjoy what is accomplished.

This is nothing like real leadership. Real leadership understands that difficulties will come. Enemies will need to be fought off. Obstacles will have to be crossed. Struggles will affect the lives of individuals and of the whole. The leader has to remain steadfast through the difficulties as he/she points to the unchangeable Word.

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It is important for the leader to keep his/her eye on that Word at all times, because there will be days when that Word will be challenged. When his gaze is focused the leader will be able to stand against those voices. When his gaze wanders, so will his resolve. And doing the right thing will fall to the will of the masses.

One of the most difficult situations a leader will face does not come from a competitor or oversight committee. It isn’t overt until it builds enough steam to try and roll you over. It is the push from the people called to follow the leader. Because of difficulty or unbelief or insubordination, the followers gather together to push the leader in their direction.

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Shaping Culture: Digging the Right “Well”

We often hear about what we are supposed to be doing well. If we were to line up all of the things we are trying to do well and consider which of those are the most important and the most valuable, we would find ourselves facing a difficult reality. Our efforts are not all the same in value and consequence.

What if we were to think of all of our tasks and goals as various wells that we are drilling? If you were going to make a fortune in oil or provide for needs with water, where you would be sure to dig? On which wells would you focus your effort and energy? Would you choose those few with the most significant return, or do you dig a large number of wells that show how busy you’ve been but reward you with less for your work? Five weeks into my seven week course from Willow Creek Association’s LIFT Project, and I may have been reminded of the greatest well worth digging in ministry and church leadership.

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