Saturday, June 19, 2010

Starting Over

I was driving through town the other day, running a few errands. That always take a bit longer when you are getting to know a new city. And this city is kinds of a strange one... it's very spread out with lots of small locally owned places. So a quick glance at signs doesn't necessarily tell me much.

Once again, I am finding myself starting over. Didn't I JUST do this? Having to find new things of nearly everything, like a hairdresser, a mechanic, a bank, a mary kay lady. Blech.(At least I don't have to go church shopping. *Ba-dum-bum*)

"...and he also gave them provisions for their journey. - Gen. 45:21"

I never tire of reminding myself that 'God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply'. The mode I feel I am in right now, though, is "survival". I often feel as though I am moving from deadline to deadline, program to program, event to event, and am unable to work on the theory of building a good support system, of training and equipping those in education, of writing policies and putting some structure in place.

It's as if I am not only starting over in my life, but beginning something completely new in this ministry. I came here not wanting to do that, because I wanted to honor what the previous woman did here, and honor the church's culture, and spend time figuring all that out. But as it seems more clear to me that what was done before didn't work, I am now faced with deciding what to change, how to change it, and when to make that happen. I have a committee of wonderful people looking to me to make those decisions when it feels kind of wrong for me to be the one who does. Not because the Lord hasn't gifted or equipped me. I believe he has. But because I don't know this place the way they do.

My challenge is helping them understand that even though they hired me and I have the expertise and experience they wanted, I cannot be the white knight. I will not make decisions for this church on my own. I don't want to be that leader... the leader that starts over just to start over. The leader that starts over because she thinks she knows what is best.

I don't know what is best for this place. And that may freak some people out. I just need to figure out how to be a leader in the process of starting over, without completely starting over. I need to figure out how to lead adaptively, in a way that not only works, but helps them understand why.

3 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

I ran across this great leadership quote from Nelson Mandela today:

"It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership."

Trusting the Lord in leadership is always a bit difficult. Being open with those you lead is also difficult. Maybe incremental changes could work in a way that only upsets the proverbial cart one apple at a time :)

stephanie said...

Thanks for the advice and insight KB. I can always count on your to say something thoughtful!

Kansas Bob said...

I am certainly wiser now that I live in Missouri.. albeit in Kansas City.. interesting how you moved out of the state and I into it :)