This is a continuation of this post…
What other moorings do I have to make sure I stay “tied” to as a leader?
- Criticism is good… negativity sucks! And I mean that literally. Negativity can suck the life, love, and leadership ability right out of you! Hearing constructive criticism from people who have earned the right to speak into my life (earned that right by showing they care for me, want to help me grow, and have my best interests at heart) is absolutely vital. Jen Bell, Scott Hodge, Mike Jones, my team at Woolridge… these are people who I trust completely and listen when they say – “Hey… that was dumb!”. But why do pastors think that they have to entertain – or even RESPOND – to every negative nellie slinging crap at them? It sucks… the life right out!
- It’s all about the TEAM. Ministry is not a solo sport… yet, pastors are some of the loneliest people on the planet. This particular mooring has been a long journey for me, but I realize that there are very few things I should be doing alone. I have been involved in team-based planning and writing for many years now and will never go back. Lead as a team, write talks as a team, and plan as a team. The benefits are HUGE. My teams have always grown me, and the “end result” is always so much better than if it had just come out of my brain, my life, or my heart.
- But it’s also about ME. I am not talking about megalomania… but while productivity is team-based, responsability is personal. God called me as a leader and will hold me responsible – this is why the Scriptures say don’t rush too hastily to leadership. This is true of any leader, but especially true for the top level of leadership. God calls men and women as individuals, then forms them into teams and leadership communities – but the call and responsibility for that call always is a personal matter. This is why my time with God each day is so vital. If I miss some times I FEEL it… like when I used to skip a day of martial arts training when I was competing. It scares the life out of me to think of trying to live up to the responsability of my calling on my own.
- This is supposed to be FUN. Every year that goes by in ministry reinforces this more and more… if I am not having fun, something is wrong. Now, not everything is fun… we all have to do stuff that we don’t like, aren’t particularly good at… etc. But day in and day out if I don’t find myself waking up with joy, looking forward to the day ahead, the people I will see, and the tasks at hand, then something is amiss. Joy is supposed to be the byproduct of serving… and I have spent enough time feeling down to be convinced that joy is VITAL to my calling. I have learned to give myself permission to have fun… and to put joy near the top of my priority list.
- Finally – the journey never ends. The journey of following Christ has no ending point… because Christ keeps moving forward! So my life will forever be about further growth, further learning, and further chasing after my Friend and Savior – Jesus. What about death? Doesn’t heaven end the journey? I sure hope not! The way I read and interprit Scripture, eternity is going to be all about the journey… following Jesus even closer. Borrowing from minds greater than mine, the journey is about being “covered in the dust of my Rabbi”. The journey isn’t the means to an end… it IS the end!