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5 More Things I Got Right as a Leader

Last week I shared 5 things I got right.

Here’s 5 more that come to mind.

After

5 things I wish I had learned sooner

My 5 biggest mistakes.

5 more things we got right:

1 – WE DIDN’T RUN WHEN THINGS WERE DIFFICULT.

Leaders need to lead for the sake of the Mission of God. Not their own ease or benefit. Not for the wishes and whims of people. Inevitably leaders aren’t always popular. At least not with everyone. Our folks seemed quite comfortable criticizing me when they weren’t happy. The neighborhood of our urban campus complicated everything. It helped when I learned it wasn’t my job to make people happy. We had opportunities to go elsewhere where things seemed easier, prettier, more fun but it seemed God never released us. We stayed. Didn’t run when things were difficult.

2- EUGENE PETERSON.

I spent 2 weeks with Eugene in a doctoral program.

3 – RELATIONSHIPS.

I intuitively knew that I couldn’t challenge people beyond the level of relationship I had with people. Greeting people before church. After church. Lunches. Breakfasts. Meetings. Relationships.

4 – PIONEERING RISKS.

We didn’t want to fail but we weren’t immobilized at the thought of failing. Oftentimes for us, status quo offered no promise and daring greatly was better than never trying and dying. (1000’s of churches could learn from this one.)

5 – RECOGNIZING ANXIETY.

We dealt with our share of problems. (We may have taken care of your share of problems, too.). Plus changes and transitions. It’s the leader’s job to be the non-anxious one when everyone else is anxious. People can’t think. They can’t reason. Leaders can’t lead when all of us are anxious. I always took extra time to be accessible. Made myself accessible. Approachable if I wasn’t approaching. People need leaders that convey that “we’ll get through this.”

Leadership is never a static thing. The last few weeks I’ve tried to offer a snapshot from looking back over 25 years. Plenty of mistakes. Plenty of wish I’d learned sooners. But, leadership is about the next season. About looking forward.

  1. Identify one thing that you need to master or learn to be a better leader for the next season.
  2. Do you have a sense of what God might be stirring in you or a vision in your heart for yourself or for your congregation in the next season?

Thanks for letting God work in you and through you for the sake of His Mission. And thanks for being in the PLI family.

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