Rejoicing in the midst of trials, tragedies, and difficulties does not require the denial of the present pain. What you are seeing, and experiencing is real. Nevertheless, you should rejoice because your success is not rooted in your situation, or even in your ability to fix it—but it is firmly grounded in the track record of God. This is why Psalm 43 instructs us to place our hope in God as the remedy for a downcast soul. This is also why we are encouraged to rejoice in the Lord.
Too many leaders who are struggling in plain sight have never taken the time to assess their personal status. Some of our most powerful leaders delay this very important evaluation because they feel they don’t have the time, or that the movement or ministry will suffer. So they don their leadership hats, dig deeper, and neglect their personal health and wellness. Some even live in an Elijah-style time loop where they dwell in the depressed proverbial cave as they carry out great feats of miracles, signs, and wonders.
The truth is that there are just as many strong servants of Jesus Christ who struggle with feelings of turmoil, bondage, and isolation that characterize depression… Consider Elijah showing courage and conviction, working powerful miracles one day, and then barely holding on to his sanity and will to live the day after. I know this place all too well. There was a time when I was a leader hurting in plain sight. I allowed depression to control my life for years until not too long ago.
I am an extremely busy man. If you’re like me, the concept of balance proves elusive, seeming only to last a week at best. There are always demands on our time, not to mention the requirement to be emotionally present in every area of life. As I have wrestled with this concept of living a balanced life, I must say, with all transparency, that I have begun to rethink my perspective on balance.
Your team members came to you with their gifts, talents, and time. They have enhanced your vision, and in some cases even caused it to flourish. And now a few years into the work, one of your stronger team members tells you that they are moving on. What do you do? How do you handle this?
In today’s scripture passage… [Paul] admonishes these believers to consider the differences between lawfulness and expediency—in other words “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should, nor that it is the best course of action.” As leaders, we often have the right and the ability to do whatever we choose. However, when a team is involved, our actions affect every member of our team.
Do you value the voice of your team members? Take a moment and intentionally reflect on this question. When they speak, do you actually stop to listen to what they are saying, or are you merely seeking to check off the “sought counsel” box? Do you feel that you can trust the insight that they give you? Leaders sometimes lament that good help is hard to find. If this is true, this also means that you must work to keep this good help once you find it.
Is your team ideologically diverse? Can you say that each of your team members brings a unique flavor to the work? Do all your team members feel respected, valued, and appreciated as they are, or do they feel the need to assimilate to the dominant culture? As the leader of the vision, you should ensure that all your team members feel welcomed and supported as they are—not as you would prefer them to be.
As an advisor to leaders, I have seen countless visions stray because of one major issue: the leader’s inability to properly engage and manage the team… This series is meant to provide you with small devotional-sized nuggets to equip you to effectively manage the team that works with you… At all levels of leadership there is room for growth in our communication with our teams. It is time for you to help them help you.
This account in Numbers 11 teaches us two important lessons that are relevant to our journey as leaders executing God’s plan for us. The first of these lessons is that every vision will need to be staffed. God’s vision for you is so grand and full that you can’t do it alone… The second lesson that we glean from this passage is that God must be the one to choose the proper staff in the proper time.