Let’s pick up where we left off last week. As you’ve walked through our first four seasons, guess what? You’ve been growing. Others know it. And God is honoring it. He’s matured you to the point where you’re ready to lead—and by now you’ve probably been thrust into a leadership role of some sort whether you wanted it or not.
But that’s OK. In the words of J. Oswald Sanders in his classic book Spiritual Leadership, “Not every Christian is called to major leadership in the church, but every Christian is a leader, for we all influence others.” So you might as well learn to deal with it.
Whether you’re actively leading or not, it’s inevitable that you’re going to run into any number of the standard foibles of leadership once you do—not only getting people on board but getting them engaged, communication, conflict resolution, consensus-building, learning how to adjust your ministry to both God’s calling and to the actual needs in front of you (versus “this is how we’ve always done it”), etc. And all of this, obviously, requires us to keep learning how to stay focused on God instead of “my ministry.”
But first, it starts by recognizing where our authority comes from, and who’s really in charge. Take a look at Hebrews 13:7-8, 17-19, and then think about this:
- How does knowing that your leaders “watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God” (v. 17) affect the way you see them—or how should it?
- Who’s a spiritual leader you know who truly loves God—but whom you nonetheless have trouble working with? How can you see God working in him or her, and how can you honor that more openly?
- How do you still struggle with seeing yourself as a spiritual leader? What would you want God to change about you right now?
That’s what Season 5: Growing in Leadership is all about. In addition to all the issues above, you’ll also examine how to equip other emerging leaders for what’s next—because you’ll have already wrestled with those same things.
In addition, you’ll explore when it’s time to release those leaders—not to step away, but to step back, and allow our responsibility to truly become their responsibility. And again, something we always need to keep in mind with God’s work is that: It’s God’s work. Ultimately, we’re entrusting others to follow God’s leading to get the work done. And that means trusting those people to God. We’re asking God to take others where we can’t and/or aren’t meant to go, because it’s no longer our job. We should still be there to support them, but we now also have to trust them, and trust God, in the process.
All of this is easy on paper, and often tough in real life. But Growing in Leadership should make it a little easier. “Enjoy.”