The last little while has been full of great learning opportunities. We’ve been challenged a lot lately and we’ve really been given us some concepts to think about. Briefly, here they are:

  1. Mark Batterson recently made a statement on his blog, “If you’re doing things that others can do 80% as well as you can, then you are not just wasting your time. You are wasting other’s gifts! Think of it this way: your responsibility = someone else’s opportunity!” This statement has huge implications in how we train up people within the church to do ministry. Traditionally, the church has kept the ministry to the “professionals” and it’s led to the slow death of the Gospel here in North America.
  2. Another bright individual has encouraged leaders in the church to create a permission giving culture. As Dave Ferguson puts it this way, “Lead with a Yes.” We all too often worry about what a new program, ministry, or effort might result in. We worry and therefore we shoot great ideas down all the time. What if you’re church culture led with a yes? What kind of new ministries might you have? How might the gospel be shared in a new and creative way? How much does a “yes” really cost?
  3. In a recent post on the Harvard Business Review Blog, Peter Bergman posted a reflection entitled “How to Teach Yourself to Trust Yourself.” In it he writes:

Many of us have spent our lives listening to our parents, our teachers, our managers, and our leaders. Choosing what we are told to choose. Being told gently who we are. Molding ourselves to the feedback of others. Seeking approval. Reaching for recognition.

There is good reason to learn from the wisdom of others. But there is also a cost: as we shape ourselves to the desires, preferences, and expectations of others, we risk losing ourselves. We can become frozen without their direction, unable to make our own choices, lacking trust in our own insights. O here, twice blind at being born.

There is a simple remedy to the insecurity of being ourselves: stop asking.

Instead, take the time, and the quiet, to decide what you think. That is how we find the part of ourselves we gave up. That is how we become powerful, clever, creative, and insightful. That is how we gain our sight.

It’s an interesting piece on how we lead. When do we stop listening to the newest and best philosophy and simply follow God’s leading for us personally? When do we live out who God has made us to be without waffling between the popular or kitsch idea of the moment? As church planters we’ve found that lots of people have lots of great ideas, many that have worked well. Our challenge is to glean the ideas that conform to how God has wired us and be willing to cast aside those that don’t. Ultimately, this discernment process is always on going and not unique to planting. We all are called to live authentic lives – authentic to who God has made each of us and yet we are still called to grow and become more Christlike. Some might say that we’re even called to live within this tension.

These are just some of leadership development thoughts we’ve been wrestling with. We’d love to hear your thoughts/reflections or comments on these ideas.

We love you all.

Peace,

Nate and Sam

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