Sunday, June 20, 2010

Leadership, Get Over it and dying to oneself

It's 2:08 am and I cannot sleep.

I re-read one part of a book, A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal.  It is about how God works through leaders and their heart (not just the process or the steps to effecive leadership).

One of the chapters is called Conflict

This portion resonant to what I experience in Church, as a leader and in life...

"...that no matter how noble the leader is or how lofty the dreams and agenda, the leader is going to get shot at.  And sometimes hit.  Moses did not have to come out of retirement to lead a slave revolt.  David rid the land of Philistine incursions.  Jesus' mission accomplished world redemption, and Paul just wanted to invite people to the party that Jesus got going.  All gave themselves to undeniably noble endeavors.  Yet each leader was questioned for motives and methods by friends and enemies alike.
Get over it. If you are a spiritual leader, you will be embroiled in conflict occasionally or frequently precisely because you are leading.  Leadership that is not encountering difficulty probably is not trying to accomplish much.  Leadership in the hinges of history (which is where we are now) is no game for cowards.
Expect Conflict....Moses knew it would be no picnic against Pharaoh, and his experience should have told him his own people were going to be a challenge as well...Paul knew he was a marked man before he regained his sight.
If you want to emerge better through conflict, go ahead and die.  Die to the expectations that everyone will love you.  Die to getting a pass on being mistrated and persecuted.  Then get over it with resurrection power, and live a truly free and powerful life, having already counted yourself as dead.  Be surprised by affirmations and commendations. Do not count on them.  Count on being frequently challenged and sometimes resisted.  This perspecitve will set you free from having to lead from popularity or approval ratings.  You can lead from a true moral and spiritual center.
(A Work of Heart - Pg. 156- 157)

A while ago I signed a contract with God that I would seek Him first in everything I do.  Since then, I slowly let go all that I own.  Material possessions, money, triathlon.  Surely, the last bit was my life and I gave that up.  Can't really say I give it up considering it wasn't mine (like I owned it) to start with (liver transplant).  Dead people have no pride nor desire for approval.  And there is only One approval of whom I seek.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all


Tara said...

Beautifully said. So if Following Christ is a free gift.... why does it cost us everything? I have been pondering that.. but He gave us the free gift so it really didn't cost us huh? Love how God is transforming your life, mind and purpose and renewing your mind.

April said...

Fantastic post! I will have to get that book. I serve full-time in the ministry this post really spoke to me. Thank you.