Leadership is a tough task in general, when you are on a journey through depression it can be even more challenging. Some of you caught my re-blog yesterday of a great 4+ minute video called “I had a black dog, his name was depression”, I was impressed at how it just nailed it. I am learning more and more from many blogs about this journey I’m on. I thank you all for your words and your openness. When it comes to spiritual leadership, I glean a lot from my buddy Karl Vaters.
He had a guest blogger today and the topic was right on par for me. Check it out here.
This is the part that really pulled the topic together for me…
“It’s not that spiritual leaders have it all together. On the contrary, we realize we are at least as messed up as these folks we have been tasked to lead.”
Thank Lee Fruh (pronounced Free) for your transparency.
I know I’m just as (or even more) messed up than a lot of folks I minister to. I have found that many people in ministry are feeling the same. It leads to feelings of inadequacy, which leads to 1500 ministry leaders leaving the ministry monthly. The cause for these feelings stem from the fact that most people don’t understand that someone in a spiritual leadership position CAN be messed up.
I have always told people, “Don’t you dare put me on a pedestal! If I have not disappointed you, surprised you, or pissed you off, just wait, I’m human, it’s bound to happen eventually!”
Then it gets thrown in our faces when people realize we are just as human as they are. My Honey posted on this earlier this week, check out her blog here, it’s the article about big girl panties.
So where am I headed with this you may be asking?
It’s a matter of relinquishing my abilities and troubles in order to help someone else. I MUST fully rely on God for this ability, if I don’t I’ll just crawl into a dark place and hide for a while. My therapist says that it is the hurt people who can help the hurting.
That is so true! I have always told the folks in our fellowship that we can not look into someone else’s eyes and truly say, “I know how you feel, or what you are going through” unless you have actually lived it yourself.
We leaders also need the fellowship of others in order to refresh. This is not always easy to do. Many ministry/pastor groups are not always the best place to get this. Some of them even turn into “comparison” bouts. ‘How’s your church doing?’ is code for how many people do you have now and how are your finances. As a Small Church Pastor, I don’t worry about “butts in the seats and bucks in the plate” (Thanks Karl!) But still, it is hard for spiritual leaders to find a place to just be real!
My church family is pretty good at this though. The guys in my monthly group know I’m human, and accept me for this ‘flaw’. I can even minister to one who is troubled, or should I say “fudged up” something, while dealing with my own issues.
Yesterday I got that chance. As I was out on a bike ride to get some exercise and “teach my black dog some new tricks” (watch the video), a friend in the fellowship was struggling with coming to a Men’s Day tomorrow. I was able to tell him that all of us had been in his position, and not to worry, call so-n-so for a ride and be there. His non-presence would not be good for the whole group.
He thanked me for helping him get back on track to which I answered, “Well, that’s what we do here at ‘Knuckle Heads r Us’ aka He Cares, just try to get through it together.”
Leaders lead, they don’t gather. Even in the hard times, especially through the “journey’s”.
Looking forward to the fellowship, meat, and shooting of clay pigeons tomorrow, this leader needs it!
Thanks for checking out this shepherd’s stance for today.