Leaders have a number of key tasks if we are to operate out of high level of integrity. These include:
1. Confronting myself. Am I calm and clear about what God has given me to do? Where am I doing the easy thing, not the best thing for those around me? Where am I abandoning my own values? How am I allowing fear to cause me to ignore problems?
2. Mastering myself in the face of anxiety. When we don’t, we end up looking for validation from other people. We end up using the people we aim to serve.
3. Tolerating discomfort. There is never a good time to change things. In fact, it is impossible to create change while maintaining stability. To kindly bring up hard things others want is one of our critical tasks.
4. Getting clear on my goals and steps. This is hard work. The alternative, however, is much worse. Once I have my goal, the next great challenge is to think through the steps to get there – in the right order.
In what ways might you be doing an easy thing in your leadership today and not the best? Where are you not thinking things through but taking the easy way out by focusing on the short-term?
Part Two, My Own Journey
THE PASTOR AS LEADER
Countless hours were spent alone, and with wise counselors, wrestling with my leadership at my church, New Life and my own internal “demons” (Matthew 4:1-11). These are the top questions to which I repeatedly return to in prayer:
- What is success for me as the Lead Pastor? What is God’s unique shape for me?
- Feelings aside, what is best in the long-term for my church?
- What might I be avoiding? Am I staying with the “uncomfortable” in order to get to the goals I believe God has for my church?
- How much of my avoidance of difficult issues is driven by a need to be liked?
- Am I doing anything that soothes my anxiety but betrays my integrity?
- Am I making room for the space and time I need to provide overall leadership and guard the values and vision?
- Am I staying focused on the small items and steps that will get me to the goals I believe God has given me for my church? Am I distracted by other things?
- What does it mean for my church to operate out of a higher-level of integrity in this next season?
- Am I creating a life in God that is truly a gift to others? Or am I creating a life that externally proves my worth and value?
- What are the next concrete steps in light of my goals? How long will each of these steps take? Have I taken out my calendar and looked at what I will need to say ‘no’ to so this can happen?
Is there an easier way for us as leaders to wrestle with these kinds of questions without “sweating drops of blood”?