I find it interesting how often we in the church talk about leadership in great philosophical decisions and yet the Bible talks very little on the literal word of leadership. Instead it focuses on phrasing like servant-hood and sacrifice. These are fundamental elements of understanding leadership, but why is that our focus rather than the components that make up the definition of a leader?
Luke 22 records Jesus telling his disciples, “the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” (v. 26-27, NIV)
My husband and I made the painfully difficult decision to limit our involvement with the youth at our church for this upcoming semester (year). We recognized that with two little girls at home, our priorities were, and should, be with them. We acknowledge this and welcome the new stage that we have entered into, though our hearts remain inclined toward the youth, especially mine.
I can’t even really put the joy I feel when I work with youth and students into words, at least not ones that are adequate. As much as it is a challenge and frustration, it is fulfillment and ultimate satisfaction. I know that I know that I am meant to work (full time job) with teenage girls. It is something I believe I was created to do and look forward to that day when I can manage it full time.
Until then, I still serve as a mentor to several amazing young ladies.
I’ve been reading a book on mentoring and have begun to recognize the differences in the relationships I have with each of the ladies I mentor. Some need accountability and support. Some need a listening ear and spiritual advice that a peer just isn’t able to offer to the same extent. Some are looking for guidance and discipleship. Each of the relationships I have with them offers something of a challenge to me in my own spiritual growth and leadership.
The other night, God spoke a word to me, saying
To lead well, you must be well led.
I’ve felt somewhat stagnant in my own walk (always a frustrating point to be in). I haven’t felt great inspiration in what I’ve read, I haven’t gotten a word that I can write and share (which is why my blog has been so quiet). Then this statement. It struck a tender cord in my soul that I have had for some time.
I desperately want to be an effective leader, but I don’t feel (outside of my marriage and the large church setting) that I am necessarily in relationships that help to lead me. I love the relational small groups that I am a part of, but I desire…I yearn for a true Bible study that will challenge and push me to grow and stretch in my faith. I want to expound on my Bible knowledge and delve in head first to understand the original language that was used, what was meant and intended in the writing of passages. I desire the wisdom of those older believers who can share their experience with me.
I don’t quite know what this will look like in moving forward from this moment. But at least the thoughts have been completed in my mind (I’ve had this started for over a week). One thing I almost hate to admit is that when I went for a run tonight (you know how I loathe running), I felt the presence of God in that unique way that I only feel when I go out on a run like that. I despise the action, but I know I will begin to be more consistent again if for no other reason than to simply find myself wonderfully aware of that awe inspiring presence of my Lord. I suppose that is step number one to moving forward.
Step number two would be to contact a friend and mentor of mine and see if we can begin a study together.
Step three is to continue my own growth that I can in fact be that better leader for the girls I continue to work with.
And by the grace of God, I will be able to lead better while being well led.