Friday, October 22, 2010

Look in the Mirror!

When was the last time you looked in the mirror? Not in the way you might be thinking, rather in a spiritual self-examination sort of way? Frankly, a mirror isn’t even necessary. It simply serves as a metaphor of self-awareness.

Do you ever take the time to consider you? Do you ever examine your own faith journey? Do you ever evaluate your spiritual leadership?

Seriously, if you’re a spiritual leader of any kind, knowing yourself is of critical importance. To lead, you have to engage with:

• An understanding of your faith heritage
• An honest look at your faith journey
• The reality of God’s call on your life
• How you’re stewarding your specific God-given gift(s)
• An understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader

These are just a few of the items that are critical for a spiritual (small group) leader. To truly know who you are, how God has created you, and how you are using these realities for His kingdom purposes is critical for any leader who is genuinely pursuing Christ-centered leadership.

This week, I’ve been in dialogue with a pair of small groups who are struggling because their leaders’ have not looked in a mirror lately. In spite of the group members’ strongest attempts to break through the leader’s fog, they cannot gain the attention of the person who is supposed to be their shepherd—leading them and caring for their needs. Instead, both groups are wandering because their leaders have not spent time evaluating their own leadership.

In his book, Practicing Greatness: Seven Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leadership, author Reggie McNeal writes, “The single most important piece of information a leader possesses is self-awareness.”

Before your next small group meeting, take a few moments in front of the mirror of soul-examination and self-awareness. How are you doing? How about your leadership? How would those you lead/serve answer that question? Would they respond with affirmation?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions—it’s time to become more self-aware.

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