When we start in our roles pastors or leaders of various kinds, we have big dreams. The world is our oyster. The sky is the limit. Nothing is impossible with God.
We set goals, we come up with plans, strategies and philosophies. We set our minds to the task and our feet to the work of building a ministry that is definitely going to change lives.
Then somewhere along the way, we wake up on a cold and rainy morning and realize our dreams are too big. We are definitely in the oyster, but we’re not sure there will be a pearl. We know the limit is much closer to the ground.
This letter is to you:
Dear Discouraged Leader,
I know it feels as though all your dreams have been smashed by the reality of leading. It’s not an easy business. That’s why so few do it, and even fewer do it well. You put yourself out there only to find what felt like pats on the back were actually shoves. It’s a hard realization.
We are all messed up. We all have our problems and issues. And what a lot of us do is look for signs of weakness in the people who are leading us, Then we feel the need to point it out.
Why? Who knows all the reasons. Probably to make ourselves feel better. We don’t feel so bad about our short-comings when we’re pointing out those of others. And leaders are easy targets.
You’re out there in front. If you’re leading, you’ve probably got your back to the people you’re leading as you blaze the trail. Your followers think you can’t hear them, but you do. You know all the ways they think you have failed.You know all the things they don’t like about you. You even know how they feel about things that have nothing to do with your ability to lead.
And it doesn’t seem to matter how well you do in other areas. You’re not measuring up in the area they have taken aim at, and that’s going to be where all the attention is going to be put for now.
Here’s the thing. You’re not going to be assessed based on their measurement of you. This is not a standardized test. You are unique. You have a very special blend of talent, skills and personality. And you have them for a reason.
The reason isn’t to be out in front, getting all the attention.
The reason isn’t to get beaten down.
The reason is, you were created for a purpose; to bring glory to your creator.
What happens in leadership is we start judging our success based on the sheep we are leading, and forget that we too are a sheep. Sure we have a responsibility to lead and shepherd as we have been given gifts to do so. But our greatest responsibility is to follow the good shepherd.
So, as you find your back beaten and full of knife wounds, know this: you are already loved more than you will ever know. The glory was never meant to be yours, it is all for Him.
Rest in His love, Give Him the Glory.