Is leadership one of your spiritual gifts? If so, I have a question for you to ponder:
Where are you involved (a group or an activity) where you are not providing leadership?
If you can name something, feel free to go back to whatever you were doing before you began reading this post. But if you are still pondering the question, you might just need to read on…
Leaders like to lead. That’s just the way we are wired. The Spirit has given us this gift and we exercise it regularly because it comes naturally, or because we are convicted about being a good steward of the gift we’ve received, or because others see our gift and call it forth.
If there is one thing that a leader dislikes, it’s a leadership vacuum–a group or project that has no leader. So what do we do? All too often, we can’t resist stepping in to fill the vacuum. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s not. Here are some of the unfavorable consequences of giving in to the urge to fill a leadership vacuum:
- an ever-growing shortage of capable leaders
- a group or ministry that is on artificial life support–its time has long expired and it needs to die so that something fresh and relevant can be birthed
- missed opportunities to allow new leaders to emerge and develop their leadership abilities
- a less than passionate leader doing a half-hearted job of leading
- a leader whose “big picture” has been torn into so many fragments that it is no longer discernible
- a leader who can’t muster the energy to get out of bed in the morning
- a leader who doesn’t remember how to follow…
Jesus said, “Follow me”…
There is real danger in forgetting how to follow.
Be part of something–a small group, a sports team, a ministry project, the PTA… whatever–someplace where, rather than leading, you are following someone else’s lead. Discipline yourself to follow for a change. Deny the impulse to fill the vacuum. In the process of following, you may just learn something new about leading.