Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pressing Too Hard

I went to my son's soccer game yesterday. Man, it is very difficult to move from the sidelines as a coach to the bleachers as a dad. They were playing a team that at the end of the game should result in another "W" for them. Late in the game they were down a goal. As I watched in agony I learned some leadership lessons that if I was on the sidelines I doubt I would have seen.

First, in the last 15 minutes of the game, some of the best players were exhausted - they had nothing left and were still on the field, not making the contribution they could have made if they were rested for the last push in the game. How often do we as leaders not take time to rest and get refreshed for the next push of God in our lives? God gave us a gift in the Sabbath because He knows that we need it. We can't lead when we are exhausted.

Second, the players who are really skilled tried to win the game themselves by keeping the ball, but since it is a team sport, they lost control of the ball and missed opportunities to score. The church is very good at raising up "lone-ranger" leaders who are asked to carry the brunt of the work because they have good skills. The reality is, the church is a body and we need all the parts working together. God did not gift us with leadership to go it alone, but to partner with others to join God in the work that He is doing in and through us.

Third, there were many opportunities for players to score, but they never took the shot. This was some of the most frustrating parts of the game for me because I am wired to win so I know that you can't win if you don't score and you can't score if you don't shoot. Many times leaders are given the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life and because of fear or because of busyness or a whole host of reasons never makes the investment. We miss out because we are looking for the perfect set up or because we are afraid we will miss. Our responsibility as leaders is to be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Let God take care of the rest.