It has rightly been said: “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend fifty-five minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.” In other words, without clearly identifying the roots of the problem, we will only offer inadequate, quick-fix solutions. We may work harder and initiate new programs, but we will continue to reproduce shallow, thin disciples who are not significantly different than the wider culture.
What, then, are the leadership blind spots that prevent us from developing mature, deeply changed disciples and leaders? Over the past five months I have been wrestling with that question and have identified four:
1) We give away what we do not possess;
2) We sever emotional health from spiritual maturity;
3) We ignore the treasures of the larger, global church; and
4) We wrongly define success.
In this podcast I address the first blind spot, exploring the sobering truth that leadership is essentially giving away who you are, that we can only truly give away what we are living. When we skim in our relationship with God, no spiritual program can substitute for the superficiality and striving that inevitably follows.
I can easily fall into the trap of thinking that my experience, gifts, personality, talents, and knowledge will cover over the inner turmoil of my soul as I lead others. I can easily forget that who I am on the inside matters much more that what I do. Drawing on the wisdom of the Desert Fathers from the 3rd to 5th centuries, Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th, and others, this podcast explores the deadly temptation of doing a work for God without a sufficiently developed life with God.
Unless we address this challenge strongly and directly, we are simply rearranging the proverbial chairs on the Titanic. No sustainable, long-term fruit will be possible. My prayer and hope is that this podcast will challenge you, and offer you one or two practical steps, to adjust your being with Jesus so you can lead from an inner life that overflows out of Jesus.