Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reverse Mentoring

My friend Steve just posted on his Facebook about how the church in India, where his is currently visiting, is grasping and discussing the concept of reverse mentoring.  How does it work to see a struggling church in a distinctly non-christian country grasp leadership concepts that the western church has ignored.  Where I serve now, few churches have true team oriented leadership that thrives on feedback.  For the most part, it is the "top-down" leadership model that functions rarely and only if weaker leaders are hired into staff positions.  

Micromanagement without feedback breeds discontent.  Discontent is the world where most staff  members I know are forced to live.  Divine calling is thrown out the window. Organizational policies supersede God's call to any ministry outside the realm of Senior Pastor. If God has called you to a specific generation or ministry field, you will no doubt experience insecurity and disrespect.  Daily it seems leaders fall by the wayside, choosing instead a secular life, often devoid of God entirely.  How sad that often it is God's people, even God's elect, that push great potential over the edge.  I am not making excuses for those who choose moral failure or to simply quit.  Actually, quite the opposite.  I hope I didn't contribute to the exasperation of another leader, though I am sure in my bull-headed nature, I have, either through disrespect or even neglect.  

It is all I can do at times to keep myself focused on the call.  Disillusionment with ministry can creep in fast.  It is a battle, however, worth fighting.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Overrated Optimism?

I have this friend named Eddie.  No seriously, I really do.  And he is always this little beam of sunshine.  He has been an influence in my life for many years, and encouraged me through some really tough times.  I saw Eddie again this weekend.  We were at an event, and quite honestly I was pretty agitated bout some of the goings on before we ran into each other.

We met up later in the day, and he asked his favorite question, "How is everything going?"  I proceeded to pour out my frustration and discontent.  

Eddie, just hugged me.

His words were, "there is so much more that is important..."  Really?  Is ministry to the point to where we are all expected to put on a happy face and fall in line?  Our event was chaotic and ill prepared.  Mediocrity from mid level workers was eroding the purpose of the meeting.  Well prepared invitees, several whom I brought, were negatively influenced in the process.  

I would love to be part of an element of change.  Not some radical revolution leader, but someone who can help get people to put on the eyeglasses of realism and understand change must come.  We cant lead a future generation of leaders with failed ideas of our generation.  By putting on the "required happy face" we allow the proponents  of mediocrity to continue in their journey to the land of average.

Don't get me wrong.  I need Eddie.  He gives me balance and perspective.  But I can't be Eddy.  I don't want to be Eddie.  If God has called to to lead, I must lead with the skills (and calluses) that He has given me.  Have we forgotten that the New Testament was written by those who broke from the norm, made the religious establishment unhappy at times, end reached their known world in an unheard of 30 year span?  I feel we have exchanged our passion as leaders for the comfort of establishment.