Thursday, April 08, 2010

CAN LEADERS BE LONERS?

Not only can leaders be loners....we must be.

This is a stunning revelation to me; one who felt compelled to always be with people.  Once again, God had to remodel my approach.  Loneliness just feels so....lonely.  But....

....when you watch Jesus one can't help but note the amount of time he spent alone with the Father.  In the wilderness, on the sea, at the garden; time after time Jesus was alone.  Why?  In that zone leadership is constructed, fueled, and launched.

Calvin Miller makes an astute observation referencing leaders often are recluses.  Are they not slow social mixers?  Yes, all too often leaders are loners.  Lincoln, it is said, walked at midnight and in his loneliness grieved American division and plotted reunion.  We can see in the life of Jesus that Gethsemane was more than the garden of his passion.  It was a daily principle.  Jesus Himself withdrew because only as He created loneliness did His life among people have any content.

Must it always be this way?  I think so.  A friend of mine once said that you cannot help people if you're always with people.

Once again God strikes the reality chord which sounds out of tune to the flesh ear.  Glad-handers and pep- talkers aren't leaders unless each has first spent time...significant time....alone in Spirit listening to the Father.  Shallowness plagues all of us who desire to lead if our emphasis is upon popularity of the people rather than a pension for His insight.

Can leaders be loners?  From experience as well as study I am convinced we can't be an effective leader without it.

6 comments:

1 Middle Man said...

As I have "gained experience in life," I have come to a greater appreciation of my "alone" times with the Lord. This is something the Spirit has done, as I, too, am an extrovert. I am so grateful for the spiritual teachable moments that come when I am able to "be still and know" that He is God.

Zelia said...

Like Sarah Ban Breathnach I hate walking for exercise. I feel like I need to be doing 6,000 other things at the same time. But...I'm learning to walk in devotion to quite my soul - talk with and praise God (my body reluctantly follows along). Like Henry David Thoreau said, "It requires a direct dispensation from Heaven to become a walker." Sarah calls it walking meditation. I call it shutting the world out, feeling the presence of God, restoring peace and sense of serenity. I may only be a little leader in my little world but I owe it that much. Thank you, Terry.

merry said...

Interesting thoughts. I recently withdrew from a couple activities so I could spend more time "alone" because I felt like I was unable to serve others as I was running myself ragged even though it felt a bit counterintuitive. Thanks for the confirmation that it's not.

Stoogelover said...

Never gave that much thought, though I often prefer to be alone over being with people. At least being with CERTAIN people! But I do have the best quite time / prayer time when I'm walking a couple of miles by myself.

Steven Hovater said...

This is a close for me. Do you have to be alone? Yes To you have to be a loner, in the sense of having a reclusive personality? Man, I don't know if I can go that far. No doubt you gotta get away, but if that isn't paired with deep empathy for people, I think leading can be really tough as well.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was just me.