Thursday, January 18, 2007

Falling Shoes

Several months ago I read a statement by Louie Giglio that has really stuck with me. He said that as Christians we can't keep living as if "the other shoe" is going to drop. We can't assume in the good times that we have to brace ourselves for the coming bad times.

This has given me a lot to think about in terms of faith. Is bracing ourselves somehow assuming that God will just forget about us and we have to take care of ourselves? If we keep ourselves totally focused on God, will we be able to avoid pessimism?

The other day a friend made a comment to me about how the ministries I'm involved in thriving. I almost shot back that it was only a matter of time until I screwed something up. That was a lack of faith that God would continue to provide. That was hedging my bets and keeping one foot in the world, just in case things didn't work out with God.

Then tonight I got an email that really does make it seem like things were "too good to be true" and like the calm that I saw was all a fake. People were just not talking about their discontent and anger. I'm struggling to not internalize this and take it as personal criticism, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take it. The email's full of some nasty accusations and I don't know what to do about it. Well, I know the first thing I'm supposed to do is pray. I don't know whether to respond (first instinct) or just leave it (and risk looking like I don't care). I don't know whether to call some kind of an emergency meeting or let people think and pray about it until next week.

And it hurts. It hurts when friends who you really care about lash out with accusations. I don't know if it's a lesson in humility or a lesson in leadership. So far it seems like a lesson in "why it's easier to be a pew filler than to put yourself out there in leadership."

I hate living like the other shoe is going to drop, but I also hate being unprepared for moments like this.

Anyone with answers out there?

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Blogger Bryan said...

I know your boy Giglio is all about the humility. But it sounds like it's a leadership thing.

Without being a part of it, I'd say you have a third option. All of the great leaders I've worked with, when faced with criticism, responded with questions. Most of the time questions that cut to the core of the issue will either expose some needed changes, or will expose the misguided nature of the criticism. Either way it's humble, non-confrontational and usually leads to a solution.

One other thing. At Hillside, no criticism or opinions are accepted without the person's name attached. If someone has a concern or criticism it's welcomed, provided it's not done anonymously. It's a good rule, as it takes the power out of statements like 'a number of us...' or 'people are saying'.

9:59 AM  

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