Making Ourselves Dispensable
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’m thoroughly enjoying and being stretched by The Three Tasks of Leadership: Worldly Wisdom for Pastoral Leaders, a book written by Fuller faculty and leaders in honor of the transformative leadership principles of Max De Pree, former chair and CEO of Herman Miller and close friend of Fuller Seminary.
In one chapter Jim Collins, the famous author of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, is quoted as defining greatness in a church through 3 characteristics:
- Superior performance relative to its mission in the world
- A distinctive impact on its community
Making an impact over a long enough time so that it’s not dependent on the personality of one leader. It’s #3 I want to focus on. As leaders, are we building up systems and people that are so strong and resilient that they are not dependent upon us? In the months after I left my last church, friends at that church would periodically share stories about how the ministry was struggling. A small part of me was secretly glad. Their challenges after I left validated how much they needed me. I had it all reversed. The real test of leadership is whether or not your team thrives if God calls you to a different position, or even simply when you’'re on vacation or a ministry trip.
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