The internal and psychological stress of leading, exploring, learning and keeping an organization “on mission” is demanding. The fear of failure weighs heavy. We who started so eagerly to lead something significant for God into uncharted territory start to pine for security and stability. We long to be seen as the “expert” and experience the deference that people in our society offer to those of us who have “made it.”
Did you see that word? Sabotage.
That’s not a word you expected to see in a post on Christian leadership, did you? But, it’s very real. Even for Christians (maybe, especially for Christians)
According to historical geographer John Logan Allen, the moment Meriwether Lewis and his scouting party from the Corps of Discovery crested the Lemhi Pass looking for the Columbia River and found only miles and miles of snow capped peaks, was when his “geography of hope” gave way to the “geography of reality.” And a disappointing reality it must have been.
This story of Lewis and Clark illustrates the moment that the Christian Church finds itself in today… and frankly, not unlike the moment that the disciples found themselves in on another mountain in Galilee.
It was different “back then.” Some of us have heard about it. Others can remember it. Sociologists and theologians refer to this recently passed period as Christendom, the 1700-year-long era with Christianity at the privileged center of western cultural life. (I have a copy of the Los Angeles Times from December 1963 that list Daily Bible Readings for the upcoming week. Can you even imagine a major newspaper exhorting people to read their Bibles today?)