I work with four other men on staff at Memorial. They are known as "The Boys" because that's what I call them. I interviewed for this job at 29 years of age. Now I am old enough to be the staff's father. Oddly, I am even older than all of our elders.
Jason and Shane were in my office this morning going over a fun and imaginative part of ministry. I like the creativity around our place.
Later in the talk I drew their attention to something very important about ministry. We just concluded the workshop a few days back. In the middle of last week (week of workshop recovery) Shane encountered some very discouraging comments. I was present for part of it and I knew the pain was quite deep; the wound was severe. So, I talked to them about the value of slaps in the face.
Shane had done a superb job at the workshop. Because he has escalated in talent at rapid pace it was important for him to be hurt. God uses these times (insult and ridicule) to keep us from concluding we are independent of His leadership and provision. I encouraged both of these good men that next year they will be directing the workshop and it will go very well.....and they will encounter terrible pain and insult. They will most likely be driven to tears.
Such negative attraction is imperative for the good leader. Paul said he had to have this happen to him to keep from exalting himself. All men suffer similar temptation to exalt self. Critics---very valuable critics---keep us in tears as well as need of God.
I'm very proud of the boys. They are good men; great men. They do tremendous work. Because of that truth they will find themselves devastated over critical comments. Slaps in the face are a must for God's leaders. Any who run away to avoid them will not become leaders. They will become immature complainers.
I know the sting of insult. But in these cases the hurts help; they groom us to become His kind of leader....II Cor. 12:5-10.