"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the art of self-leadership

Who is your toughest leadership challenge? Yourself.
The other day I was looking for a paper in my files. I found it in a binder right next to an article I had received from my pastor a couple of years ago. (“The Art of Self Leadership” Bill Hybels Copyright 2001) It had been about a year since I had read it. As Kelly and I read it, it struck us both how we had failed miserably with self leadership. We have been so busy trying to lead those around us and under us that we forgot to lead ourselves. There is a recommendation in the article that states, “We should invest 50% of our leadership amperage into the task of leading ourselves; and the remaining 50% should be divided into leading down, leading up, and leading laterally.” I have spent almost no time in leading myself. I think Kel has done a little better then me but probably not a lot. And you know what, it shows. I can feel it and see it in my own life and it bothers me a lot. I was doing a much better job before we left. Then we got here and hit the ground running and didn’t look back. As I look back it is a big reason why we have become so discouraged at times. I have even said to Kel that it seems that I can not hear my FATHER right now. It is pretty clear why. Take a look at the first 5 chapters of Mark’s Gospel and look at Jesus’ pattern of intense ministry. It was followed by time set aside for reflection, prayer, fasting, and solitude. You see this pattern through out His ministry. He was practicing the art of self leadership. He would go to a quiet place and recalibrate. We have tried a little to do this but it has been a futile effort, something always seems to happen or come up that we have to deal with. Why, because we are the ones people come to for seemingly everything. We have been here almost 7 months and only been gone from the school and school business for 3 days total. It is a 7 day a week job not a lot different then milking cows in that regard. But this is dealing with people not cows and frankly, cows are easier and less draining. Jesus would remind himself who He was and how much the Father loved Him. Jesus had to invest regularly in keeping his calling clear, avoiding mission drift, and keeping distraction and temptation at bay. So what is our calling here? That is part of the problem; I can not give you a clear answer. I can tell you why we came. To head up the agriculture development of the bible college. Is that happening yet? No, not really and I’m not sure when it will. How do you avoid mission drift when your mission is not clear? Maybe I am not seeing what the true mission is because I am too close to it. I don’t know. All the more reason to take the time to figure out what I need to do than implement it in the area of self leadership. And distraction and temptation have definitely been much worse in the last 3 months for me. I just had a thought of someone reading this asking themselves, why is he telling me this and what kind of missionary is he? Well, I’m just a guy, who has struggles and temptations just like everyone else; I just happen to be a missionary in Africa. I try to be as transparent and honest as possible or I should say as I dare allow myself.
There are 12 questions this article asks you to ask yourself.
Is my calling sure?
Is my vision clear?
Is my passion hot?
Is my character submitted to Christ?
Is my pride subdued?
Is my pace sustainable?
Are my spiritual gifts developing?
Are my fears at bay?
Are interior issues undermining my leadership?
Are my ears open to the Spirit’s whisper?
Is my heart for God increasing? And is my capacity for loving deepening? These are questions that take a little time to answer. Or at least answer to the depth that they should be answered. These are the questions I have had going round and round in my mind for the last several days. Still working on answers. Some of the answers I’m coming up with, I don’t like. So if I think about them some more, maybe the answer will change? NOT. It was no accident I found this article at this time. My FATHER is talking to me, which is good. I just don’t necessarily like what HE is saying to me. Definitely not the first time that has happened and it won’t be the last, I’m sure of that.

No comments: