Yesterday I wrote about how your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness. How can that principle apply when you’re trying to help someone else address their area of weakness? I’ve found it works best to first start by using yourself as an example before address other peoples’ weaknesses.
The more you mature as a leader, the more challenging it is for growth. The issues God wants to work on are deeper and not as obvious. Counter-intuitively, the more we grow, the more intentional we need to be about taking time for reflection.
How can we do that? We can be intentional about getting honest 360-degree feedback (from peers, from supervisors, and from those we supervise). We can cultivate deep relationships with people who can truly speak into our lives–people who can walk alongside us to identify what God is up to. We need to go beyond personal reflection to gather meaningful feedback from others who know us well.
Real change and real ministry starts with the leader. That’s you. Are you doing what God would have you do? Are you serving as the hands and feet of Jesus? Is your heart broken for the poor and for the lost? If you are not living into that yourself, with your own life, there’s no way those who follow you will. They look to you to take their cues about what’s important. And they look not to your words, but to your actions.
Quite a few years back when I was finishing up a big project, someone pointed out to me that my drivenness to get the thing done was wearing others out. That comment caused me to reflect on my workaholism and perfectionism and make some adjustments. I recognized the impact that what I do has on others, and that was an opportunity for growth.
Who do you have in your life currently that has permission to speak freely about what they’re seeing? How willing are you to listen, reflect, and change? Sometimes God speaks to us most clearly through those we allow inside our lives.
This is a question I’ve been hearing others ask of me lately. What’s with all this missional stuff? What’s wrong with the way you were doing ministry before?
Yet when I reflect on what I’ve been saying for years, I don’t see any big disconnect. I’ve always said, “Have your first converts before your first group. Multiply your groups before starting your first service.” By doing that, you’re ensuring a focus on evangelism and disciplemaking before your first worship service. That sets the DNA about what is most important.
Models may have changed. Principles have not.
Everyone knows about the cultural phenomenon known as the mid-life crisis. It can result in anything from a sports car to an affair to a sudden career change. What is a mid-life crisis? It’s a forced evaluation—usually the result of circumstances beyond one’s control such as aging or an emptying nest—of the direction, meaning, and accomplishments of one’s life. Essentially, we wake up at a certain age and think, “My life is passing me by. And what do I have to show for it?”