Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Shopping. Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. And, some of us really don’t think about it at all, we just do it.

The shopping experience is an interesting one, especially if you’re on a budget, and you’re trying to stretch every dollar to the Nth degree. Take clothes shopping, sometimes you just need a shirt, it doesn’t matter what color it is or what style it is, you just need it. So, you go looking through the racks and find one, then another, and another and all of them will fit the bill.

But, sometimes you’re looking for something in particular, aren’t you? You need a black shirt to go with whatever, and it has to be in a certain style because otherwise it won’t match. It’s that kind of shopping that is draining because no matter how hard you look, if you can’t find that particular shirt, then the whole thing has been a wash.

Then there are times when the opposite is true. You think you have a lot of shopping options. But, no matter how hard you look, you always come back to the same item, over and over, and, over and over again, until at last you just give up and buy it.

Sometimes I do a little shopping when I pray, and I would imagine that you do too. We keep going back to God with a question, problem or issue, hoping He’s going to give us a different answer from the one He’s already given us, then are surprised when it’s the same.

I don’t really like leadership positions. I try to avoid them as much as possible, preferring to stay in the Shadowlands, and help out behind the scenes. So, when I was first asked to lead a Bible study group, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

So, I went to God in prayer and got a resounding ‘yes.’ But, I didn’t like that answer, so I let it lay quietly for a couple of days and went back again half hoping He would give me a different answer. He didn’t. It was still a firm ‘yes.’ So, I left it alone for another couple of days, all the while knowing that soon I would be trying to dodge phone calls from the teaching director who needed to know what I was going to do. Again, I went to Him, prayed about it, and again got the same answer. ‘Yes.”

My shopping did me no good, which isn’t surprising at all. After all, God is God, and He doesn’t change His mind. But we would still like Him to wouldn’t we? We all want a god who is going to behave himself, a god who is going to see we don’t want to do something and allow us to dictate what we will or will not do. We want a god who will let us off the hook.

But, He’s not like that. He loves us too much to allow us free rein, and He wants a relationship with us too much to allow us to go shopping for an answer that will please us, instead of one that’s good for us. In short, there are times when we just have to accept that He is God and He knows what He is doing, and no amount of shopping is going to change that.

“But You are the same and Your years will never end.”

Psalm 102:27

Read Full Post »

There are leaders, and there are followers. Generally we are told, are led to believe, that you either fit into one category or the other.

At 12 -years old, my son is going into the uncharted territories of Jr. High School where the rubber hits the road and the inner mettle of most of the kids is really tested for the first time. Will they be leaders? Followers? Or that in between group that most people don’t really acknowledge because they don’t fit into a tidy little box? Those would be the kids who feel comfortable enough with themselves to lead when they need too, follow when they need too and to walk away when they need too.

Some of the best leaders I have ever seen are those who don’t cling to leadership. Like that third group of Jr. High School kids, they lead when they need to, follow when they need to and walk away when they need to.

Leadership doesn’t come naturally to me, I’d rather sit in the back row and let someone else take those reigns, but over a year ago, God opened up a opportunity for me to serve Him as a small group facilitator in Community Bible Study. I put the emphasis on facilitate, not leader or teacher, because if I had to actually lead or teach the wonderful ladies in my group, they would get the short end of the stick in a huge way.

Although God has been amazingly faithful to me in trying to get me to facilitate the learning of His Word every week, the real miracle I see  is the woman He has put over the facilitator’s themselves because she is a leader that exemplifies the shepherd leader that we see in Christ Himself.

I often tell her that trying to get over 25 different facilitators and children’s ministry leaders together is like herding cats, and, I’m not joking.

The group that God has put together is disparate to say the least. Most of us come from different theological and dogma backgrounds. We go to different churches and have varying degrees of scriptural training. We run the gambit from seeing everything spiritually to seeing everything with a pragmatic eye. I could go on, but the reality is that no one but God could put such a group of radically different individuals together and, quite frankly the only way we hinge together is through Him.

Keeping us all together is a momentous task, yet, the leader He has put over us never looks like she’s leading. She’s caring, loving and thoughtful, bringing us into decision making processes by asking our input, while putting us all before herself. And, that’s all after the fact that she turns to God with pretty much everything and is so excited when he shows her something new in His Word that she has to share it.

Leaders who are caring, loving and thoughtful, putting the needs of those who they lead before their own are a rarity in the church, let alone in the me-first-world we all live in.

Yet this exactly the type of leader God is. Scripture tells us He is far from the proud and close to the humble, and it goes even further when its says He Himself was humble even to the point that He gave everything for those who are in His care.

He is the ultimate servant leader, and should He lead us in that direction, we should feel comfortable enough in who He is and who we are in Him to be the same.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 11:29

Read Full Post »