Exposed and Protected

I need to tell this story about my day yesterday. This is the time of year where we enter budget mode at the church. We’ve been dreaming and seeking God’s face as a staff and leaders as to what He has for us in 2012. We’ve prayed through those and are continuing to pray through them, starting to put numbers to those dreams and then those numbers make up the budget.

But putting all of that together, keeping that juggling act of activity focused on Making disciples who love God, live connected, and serve all stretches me in areas that I didn’t even know I had. I love the dreaming and team building part. I love the putting steps in action to accomplish this. I love that more so than ever we have a more holistic approach to this process.

But when it comes to numbers and budgets, I just feel overwhelmed. As a leader, there is this huge temptation to be ‘good at everything’ that comes to your desk. Bible question? I gotcha. Counseling? Marriage? Kids? Sports? Politics? Budgets? As these questions and opportunities come flying at you, there is this evil voice gently whispering – “go ahead, fake it. You can be the expert.” And most leaders know enough about any subject to sound intelligent about for about 5 minutes. After that, the gig is up.

So I’ve learned to just punt that first 5 minutes. There is no sense in pretending, you’re going to get exposed sooner or later. Last night I was asked by a dear friend, ‘how are you really doing.’ I leveled with him – “This is the worst time of the year for me. I feel completely exposed as a leader and inadequate in this area of budgets. I can follow one, I can keep an organization under one. But creating and organizing?”

He just looked at me and said the exact words I needed to hear. “Grant…we’ve got people for that, right?” It wasn’t a question. He pushed me a bit more – “Just close your eyes, trust God and keep teaching the word.” Later that night he said something else that jolted me – “We need to do anything we can to keep bringing people to Jesus Christ. That’s the focus. Nothing else matters.”

Exposed and protected. That’s what I felt last night. What a great place to be as leaders in the church. This is the huge benefit of team leadership, in community with authenticity and humility. I’m off the ledge this morning.

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