Modeling & Following

You can’t be led well if at first you don’t lead yourself. 

This has been a common theme in many discussions I have participated in recently and one that requires consistent attention. 

Regardless of what kind of role we find ourselves in — volunteer, staff, band, production — we are vulnerable and must take ownership of the position or task that we’re called to steward. 

If we allow our perspectives to be informed by our habits we will regularly find ourselves stuck in a cycle that prevents progression. 

Solutions versus Serving. 

All too often we confuse the two. In whatever capacity we serve, our fear should be a tendency to drift into a territorial position of serving up solutions instead of serving as a part of the solution. 

We all want to be valued and we all want our ideas to be heard. However, we cannot sacrifice the position God calls us into by extending our ideas or solutions into the roles we’re serving at the cost of serving itself. If a solution seeking posture compromises ones ability to serve with a full heart, then the act of serving has taken a backseat. Roles become about us. Pride takes center stage, things get messy, and the mission suffers. 

Our Hearts vs Our Motives

Motives are displayed through our behaviors, and our behaviors are indictments of the heart. Behaviors are tangible, we can’t take back opinions once they are spoken. There is a danger in attempting to speak solutions into existence. Doing so doesn’t actually make them tangible or applicable, it just makes them known. Sometimes we’re not called to make every opinion known or unveil every critique.

While we must continue to step into the fray and make the valiant push for progress, we can’t do so at the expense of another or the mission at large. In this effort, we need to understand that the pursuit of perfection is much different that the pursuit of progress. 

We must constantly ask ourselves, “Am I being helpful or hurtful?"

We need to keep in mind that the “we” is always greater than “me”. 

Being Critical and Thinking Critically.

There is a huge difference between being critical and thinking critically. If we devote too much energy to criticizing we hinder our ability to create and the issue then lies with us. If we’re thinking critically about a creative idea then the energy and effort should be for the benefit of others, not ourselves. We must consider the source, seek insight, and collaborate. 

Collaborating is always healthier than competing. The competitive nature of creativity almost always creates a sense of tribalism and distance. The Church and its people should strive to avoid this at all costs. This starts with us. It starts with staff, volunteers, band members, leaders. 

Collaboration breeds clarity, creativity, and conversation. It develops unity, it pushes progress. It relieves the corrosive attitude that allows sin to creep in and separate. 

His extraordinary work through our ordinary obedience.