Sunday Lessons – Protestors & Grace
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Sunday Lessons post but I couldn’t help but share this one with you…
As many of you may have heard Cross Point was “blessed” to be listed on the Westboro Baptist Church picket list this week. And when I say “blessed” I actually mean it. While this frustrating disruption required a great deal of extra work this week in preparing our team and our congregation, it became an amazing opportunity for us to remind ourselves and everyone who attends Cross Point, why we believe what we believe. We were able to do more to cast vision and inspire people to Christ-likeness in one week than we could in our normal routine.
Here’s the video our pastor shared all week leading up to Sunday:
Westboro did show up (although rather briefly) along with several other anti-protest groups, as well as nearly every news station and the local paper. There was one point where I just looked around and thought, “no one ever prepares you for this part of ministry leadership.”
In reflection, here are a few things that I learned as a leader through this experience:
- Every event is an opportunity to cast vision and remind people of who God has called us to be.
- Creating a response plan and coaching our staff and volunteers through it was a great exercise in preparation. We may not always have a week’s notice for these kinds of things, but we’ll be even more ready next time.
- Not everything is controllable but how you respond will give you a great deal of influence. The media were extraordinary kind and honoring to us in all the coverage.
- Don’t ever underestimate the weight that your senior leader carries. Pete was previously committed to speak at another church yesterday and was not able to be at Cross Point for these activities. Yesterday I experienced just a glimpse of the weight that he must feel in leading our church week in and week out. I knew that every word I said, every action I took and every direction I gave would impact the thousands who attend and the countless who were watching how we handled this situation. I’m grateful for a pastor who trusted me to lead yesterday but even more grateful that I serve under his leadership everyday!
What’s the most challenging leadership situation you’ve led through?