What I’m Learning

Enjoy the opportunity NOT to lead

Oftentimes I find myself so programmed to take the lead that I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m in situations where I don’t have to.  This week I was at a conference with some fellow staff members, all of whom are amazing leaders, and I kept reminding myself that I don’t have to step up at every turn.  In addition, I wasn’t in charge of anything at the event.  I didn’t have to evaluate.  I didn’t have to instruct or coach.  I didn’t have to critique.  I could just attend… learn… and follow.

Sometimes I think we need to be reminded to enjoy the opportunities to follow.

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  • bradruggles October 2, 2008  

    Wow, that’s an incredibly simple yet powerful statement.

    I think that’s the phase of life right now that Lisa and I are in. We’ve spent so much of our lives investing in ministry and God is just teaching us to rest and connect as a family.

    I’m definitely enjoying the opportunities to follow, observe and learn right now.

    Can’t wait to see you and the rest of the CP team in Atlanta next week!

  • ryan guard October 2, 2008  

    I just got home from a pastor’s conference, during which I was in charge of NOTHING. nothing. nothing. I actually went so far into my nothingness that I shut down. I just sat quietly and observed most of it. I did nothing. I cracked a couple of times, but for the most part I just sat there like a rock.

  • fullofboys October 2, 2008  

    I totally get this! I remember telling people that when we came to Dickson I just wanted to serve (we see how that turned out!) 🙂 As much as I feel like God prepared me to lead, I also sometimes love the idea of following. However, I find the more I get used to leading, the harder it is not to lead! I am not sure why that is!

  • Heidi October 2, 2008  

    Thank you for reminding me to do that.

  • Rachel Rowell October 2, 2008  

    hmmm, seems out blog posts are butting heads today. Just goes to show, we’re all at different places in life. 🙂

  • tam October 3, 2008  

    how did you feel in that environment?

  • jan owen October 6, 2008  

    Jenni, I read this (I’m a bit behind) and was reminded of something I wrote last night in a manuscript I’m working on. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Most leaders are always in charge. We go out to eat and people ask us to pray. We get in a group and people still look for us to lead. At church we’re constantly in “evaluation mode”. Personally I get sick of it! I enjoy following and – most of all – not having the responsibility of being in charge! I like someone else gets to make the decisions for a moment. But honestly, most of us leaders don’t really get to practice submission and accountability to one another very often because we are most often the ones calling the shots and that changes everything. And while it is admirable to submit to God, it is much more challenging to submit to a fellow minister, or church leader. Yet we so rarely put ourselves in a position to do so. I believe submission is a powerful spiritual teacher and for the health of our own soul and growth we must look for opportunities to sit under someone else’s teaching and leadership and learn from them. One thing that we need to make a priority is finding opportunities in our life to be led and to learn from the experience. Go serve on a team and don’t invoke “pastor privilege”. Join a spiritual accountability group where someone else is in charge and DO WHAT THEY SAY. Learn from others – sit with other leaders and listen and learn. Perhaps even learn from your own leaders! This humility of heart keeps us accountable and makes us approachable and models a servant heart. Most of all it deals with pride, the besetting sin of all leaders. Fasting from leadership and feasting on learning and submitting can trigger a powerful spiritual move in our heart.”