As I'm going through my leadership journey, I've begun to notice a few things about myself. One of the things I've noticed is how my leadership style has changed. As I stated in my last blog, there were some ideas that I had about leadership that were just off. I was young. I didn't know how to treat people right. It was kind of rough for those people who served in any ministry that I oversaw. But not all of my leadership qualities were bad. There's one in particular that I would like to regain. That risky, edgy, raw side of leadership.
The thing about me is...I am sort of an extreme personally. "Be ye hot or be ye cold!" Or something like that. I gravitate towards extreme characters in the bible like John the Baptist and Elijah. Dudes were just raw! I could relate. I had no problem confronting people or situations that needed confronting. And I had little to no fear of consequences. For example: in my early youth leader days, I shut down the entire youth band. I felt like they were up there for show & their personal lives didn't reflect holiness at the time. So we did what no thriving youth ministry wants to do. We went to CDs instead of a live band. And it was awkward. And in my zealousness, I did make poor decisions on the particulars of how it was handled. And kids and parents got hurt. And God had grace on me because He saw my heart. It was a radical decision but it was made for Him. And despite of my mistakes, his presence showed up and we had kids giving their lives to God, powerful altar ministry, kids prophesying and seeing visions. Our youth ministry began to grow...not because we had parties. God knows it wasn't because of parties. My mindset back then was, "Who needs fellowship to have fun? The altar is fun!" Wow! Man those days!
As I grew, something happened. I began to notice how I could grow in leadership. I realized the culture in which I was serving. Most everybody around me was so chill. Some were radical in their personalities but not when it came to interaction with others. And the ones who were radical with others were also immature in the way they handled things. The insecurities and the flat out wrong was so apparent that I began to despise the confrontational side of myself. I was like, "Look at the people I've hurt. Look at the people these radical people are hurting. I don't want to be that anymore." I was also grappling with some theological issues of grace and works at the time. "Does God do it or do we do it?" I decided that it was much easier if God changed people's hearts. But in extreme fashion, I leaned all the way to the "God does it" side. And that resulted in passive leadership. I became the nice guy. I sought to "understand rather than be understood", include everyone in every decision, and wait for the "right time" or for "God to move on their hearts" in order to make crucial decisions. And I must admit, it's easy and stressful at the same time. But things don't really get done that way. At least not in a timely manner.
I'm now beginning to walk in the balance. I needed both of these leadership experiences. I need to understand that collaboration is very important. I also need to understand that as a leader, it's my job to pull the trigger and make the tough decisions. I feel my edginess coming back. This time it's tempered with more love and compassion than I've ever had in my life. And about that grace/works thing...that may have to be a totally separate post entirely.
I'm still learning and still growing. Just keep me in prayer! And thank you for reading!