This past summer, my church blessed me with a sabbatical, which allowed me to rest, study, and prepare to lead my church with renewed energy and purpose… One of the books I committed to reading during my sabbatical was Dave Evans and Bill Burnett’s Designing Your Life, which challenged me to reflect on my workview and lifeview.
Being a disciple of Christ is a lot like learning to build a walkway except, instead of YouTube, we’ve got the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and people who have more experience to teach us everything we ever wanted to know. In the beginning, we don’t know anything. But then, as we spend more and more time studying and then practicing what we’ve learned, something actually begins to take shape.
As we celebrate this Advent Season, reminded again of Jesus’ coming into the world, I want to reflect on the distinctive vision and driving force behind God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ. What was the mindset that Jesus brought to his work in the world? And, what might that say to us about our work as leaders?
I once heard a theologian say that, “Fearful, negative, hateful thoughts are like Velcro®.” If we’re not careful, they will stick to us. The same theologian went on to say this:
“Positive, grateful, loving thoughts are like Teflon®. They just slide off, unless you savor them, consciously, for at least fifteen seconds.”
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.”