You ever get tired? I mean really, really worn out? The kind of tired that makes you want to run the other direction from any sort of decision making? Have you been there? Are you there right now?
I confess; it’s been a very busy summer. At times the summer has felt too busy. Plenty of family stuff, on top of loads of ministry stuff, covered with extra-curricular projects, spiced with social activities. Good stuff. But the sort of stuff that makes a guy tired.
As I mentioned in my last post, our church was a host site for the annual Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I’ve now had a weekend to process much of what the faculty taught. Many things challenged me. A few things inspired me. Yet there was one theme that seemed to undergird everything—overcoming struggles.
Willow Creek senior pastor Bill Hybels set the course of the conference by talking about moving people from one place to another, from here to there. He spent a great deal of time on the large middle segment of time between where you were to where you’re going—from here to there. That’s where people lose sight of the goal, they get restless, and leaders get tired.
Later in the conference, Pastor Jeff Manion of Ada Bible Church in Michigan taught on living in The Land Between. His message was honest, real, and an inspiring exhortation for all of us to let God work in us amidst difficult times of transitions in our lives.
Manion taught from Numbers 11:10-23, which details the difficult time God’s chosen people had living in the midst of The Land Between. They had been taken out of Egypt en route to the Promised Land—but were delayed! They were hungry, frustrated, and tired. They complained. They wailed. They whined.
In the middle of His people’s grumbling, Manion reminded us that God is shouting, “I need you to trust me. I need you to trust me. I need you to trust me!”
Are you facing a tough time of transition? Are those you’re leading getting restless? Are you getting weary of the battle? Are you tired?
Let me give you three tips that I am currently working on/wrestling with in my own life and in my position of leadership.
1. Crush the Complaints
Navigating difficult transitions and living in the unknown are fertile areas for complaints. Keep them in check in your own heart. Crush them in your community. They’re a cancer—they don’t help!
Read Numbers 11:20-23 and see how God deals with complaining. He brings discipline! Most of us would rather avoid this. So instead of allowing complaints to grow, help each other be disciplined to avoid complaining.
2. Cry out to God in Prayer
God loves to answer the prayers of those who are dependant upon Him. Tell God you need Him. Ask for Him to lead you, as you lead others. God loves the humble requests of His people.
3. Trust God’s Sovereignty
Rest in the fact that God is sovereign over what you and/or your group are dealing with. This is not fatalism, rather trusting God to be who He says He is in His word. God knows. God cares. It’s our call as leaders to trust Him—and to help others do the same.