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the leader

June 3, 2008

Jesus is so nice to me.

We’ve been kind of arguing lately. By arguing I mean I’ve been asking Him questions – one in particular – and He’s been very quiet. I know that there’s a reason, but sometimes a straight answer to a simple question would just be nice. Sometimes I’d really like to not grow through any experience or anything like that, and just get a simple answer to a simple question. Then I get frustrated and it’s kind of like arguing.

I’m not going to elaborate because it would sound like a shallow plea for pity, but that’s the emotion in my heart right now. Love struggling to be patient through serious frustration. That’s the backdrop.

In the meantime, at work, I’ve been asked to condense my notes on 20 books that I’ve read in the past year into one-page summaries. Bullet points and a couple good quotes. “Talking points,” they’ve been called. Can do.

It’s been an interesting opportunity to review some really good material that I went through rather quickly. Transforming Church, Breakout Churches, Good to Great, The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership… Really good stuff. Most of it is about leadership and/or ministry, so naturally I’m reviewing it all through the eyes of a youth leader.

About a week into this project I am convinced I’m a terrible leader. Surveying the general condition of those things which I have been placed in leadership of, I’ve had a couple of really bad evenings in the past week (and sure, part of that is PMS, but not all of it). (Here again, I forbid you from tempting my ego by posting anything to the contrary in the comments. Don’t make me disable the comments again.)

So I’ve been praying for myself lately, which alerted me to potentially part of my problem: I hardly ever pray for myself. That’s not to brag – because it’s really not a very good thing – it’s just the way I am. I talk to Holy Spirit throughout the day, so when it’s “prayer time,” I just forget to pray for myself. But if I’m not praying for me on a regular basis, who is?



So I’ve been praying for myself lately, that God would help me in this and make me a better leader. We were talking about it on the way to work this morning and He solved it for me. “You’re not the leader, Lex, I am. You’re just one of the first ones in line.”

(And, of course, He was talking about my specific situation. Considering the global body of Christ over the past 2000 years, I’m one of the last in line.)

And that did it for me. I’m just one of the first ones in line. I follow the people ahead of me as they follow Jesus, and the people behind me do the same. If someone ahead of me veers away from the path Jesus is laying out, then it’s my responsibility to look up and stay on the right path. That’s so simple. This is going to sound silly, but Jesus is brilliant.

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