Tuesday, January 08, 2008

LEADERSHIP---THE NEED TO LISTEN

Monday morning's usual 6:30 meeting with the staff and elders took a turn for the best this week. Initially, it didn't necessarily sound the best (for me), but I found it to be of specific importance. Before I go into brief detail, I must convey the incredible harmony and partnership 100% of our crew genuinely feels week after week. We are a team committed to one another.

We were discussing the workshop. One of the staff members commented that my sermon topics at the workshop for the last three years have been stuck on criticizing the church which does not reflect my normal walk. (Now that's all fairly brief, but the message was certain and I verified it with him later.) Then, I mentioned my plan for 2009's keynoters and all present expressed it simply wasn't a good plan. All of them! I must emphasize there was much discussion, debate, and consideration. But, the message was clear on two fronts: I needed to re-evaluate my approach both personally and directionally.

Here's where you as a leader fits in: never assume you have a feel for the present due to your credentials and experience in the past. God's work is too big, too expanding, and too spiritual for any of us to sink our roots into earthy leadership style. We must abide by John 3:8 in grasping those genuinely led by the Spirit have one major constant.....flexibility.

I did not like what I heard Monday morning about my delivery nor my plan. But, I did like it. I am lucky to be in the church. If not careful I'll begin to coast in leadership. If not careful I'll go deaf to today's spiritual agenda. I cannot afford to become indignant over pointed need for improvement. The men at that Monday morning table were not criticizing me. They were partnering with me. I love them for it. They were not making my life difficult. They were refocusing me. Really, I'm not sure they took in what I was taking in. My conclusion is I really needed correction. The scary thing is that until some of their comments were shared, I didn't realize it.

If you are in leadership, be encouraged to be free to be evaluated. Our only goal is to give earth our best shot while here on it. I want to be a leader. I don't necessarily want to stay young. I want to stay useful for God, by God, with God. So do you. Don't let your age nor your time in service develop into resistant plaque of the spirit. Stay fresh and new the best you can. Sometimes you may be informed you are not putting out the best. In the center of such information, may what happened to me happen to you: you feel incredibly supported and loved.

6 comments:

ROD said...

Allowing ourselves to be open to constructive criticism can be liberating.

brothergroucho said...

Dead on...Greek for ...amen.

Curtis said...

If our friends don't feel encouraged and welcome to tell us where we need to improve or correct our course, who will? Of course, that is very easy for me to say or write about your experience with criticism, but hard to remember to say to myself at the proper time :^)

Greg said...

I had a particular friend the past 15 years of my ministry who would both encourage and challenge me and even rebuke me. He is one of the most trustworthy people in my life. We are fortunate to have such people.

Tucker said...

It is far easier for those around us to see our flaws, mistakes, or errors in judgment. Good for you that your character is one of graciousness that you do listen to those who see things in us that we can't see ourselves.

Darin L. Hamm said...

Wise words. Thanks.