Monday, April 20, 2009

I can't do this...

Every leader, every pastor has to--at some point--come to terms with their own limitations.

You have to realize there is only so much you can add to the mix. Only some things you can do (well). Only some things only you can contribute. At some point you are forced to realize, I can't, by myself, do this.

I can't have enough meetings.
I can't supply enough ideas.
I can't give enough motivation.
I can't see clearly enough into the future to make this all turn out okay.
I can't do this.

Takeover the reins of something and you accept a huge load of responsibility for all outcomes of the thing you are leading. Honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way. I'd rather the decisions be mine.

But...there has to be Something More in the mix, because it won't be long before you realize, "I can't do this!"

That moment is the crux; The real moment of either freedom or soul-crushing pressure. Freedom if I realize I must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. Soul-crushing if I just shoulder on and think it's all up to my insight, ability and creativity.

I think this is why Paul told the Corinthian Christians: "When I came to you, I didn't come with wise or persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power." In other words, Paul told them "Look, I can't do this, so I'm counting on God to make the bigger part of the difference." "Otherwise," he goes on to say, "we'll all walk around boasting about how great we are."

And that's a leadership dead end. No one wants to follow a braggart.

Whatever you are leading, there has to be some "only God" factor. If there isn't, are you really providing Christian leadership? That's certainly includes the realization that "I can't do this," but it's also got to be what you are attempting for the Kingdom of God. What is so God-sized that you can't do it unless you relinquish control and actually put your trust in God coming through?

These are the questions I am asking myself.

1 comment:

Juliana said...

I really appreciate your insights here on leadership, Scott. I often think back on my days when I led the MOPS ministry at my old church - looking for ways that I could have been a better leader, so I can be prepared if God calls me to lead a group/organization again in the future. Being a small group leader is constantly teaching me new lessons in leadership - more specifically servant-leadership, staying more focused on the people and less on the task. Anyway, thanks for sharing your insights.

Sandy and I are looking forward to seeing you all this summer where we can have lots of time to talk and catch up!