Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are You Leading in Humility?

Recently, I had the privilege of gathering with other pastors from my area to watch a simulcast event where a small group of famous pastors engaged in thought-provoking dialogue. The event was called The Elephant Room. It’s the brainchild of Pastor James MacDonald.

The concept of The Elephant Room is to get influential pastors from different denominational and cultural contexts to a common table to discuss critical issues facing the church today.

MacDonald took plenty of heat from within the broad evangelical community for some of the guests he invited to participate. He didn’t back down.

What happened because of MacDonald's faithfulness, and lack of need to be liked by all of his peers, was something that will stay with me for a very long time. I witnessed genuine humility, respect, and honor, offered freely between pastoral peers.

It was stunning!

One prominent pastor inquired and inquired again about another’s Theological position on core doctrines—with respect. Another up-and-coming leader repeatedly submitted to the wisdom, maturity, and experience of other pastors involved, before sharing his own opinion and perspective.

The discussions were poignant. The issues were real. Opinions differed occasionally. Yet at the core of the entire day of dialogue was humility presented to one another in grace.

The thought that I couldn’t help but wrestle with was this; why does this sort of interaction seem to be the exception, not the norm, among church leaders?

Whether we lead a church of 10,000, a discipleship ministry, a Sunday school class, a small group, or our family—humility toward our peers (and those we serve) should be a hallmark of our leadership.

The tough question we must all ask; is humility a hallmark of my leadership?

1 comment:

Grace Extended said...

Rob - Really appreciate this post and you raise a great question, "Why is this the exception?" Because I just don't think we do community really well as a church. You wrote in an earlier post about reconciliation, "...because you have been given the gift of walking alongside His children and pointing them to the Reconciler..." True humility does this well (pointing to Christ) regardless of the context (home, work, church, etc.). Is pride the reason this is the exception?

One of the things I have really been processing is Romans 16...Paul is inviting the church to embrace certain individuals. What I find fascinating about this is the descriptive language Paul uses in inviting people into community with each other as if what these individuals have done could be stumbling blocks for the church. We then find an exhortation to be aware of those who create divisions.

Leading in humility is something to embrace as pride is something to lay at His feet each and every day.

Thanks for sharing your heart!!!