Ever think you’re leading a visionary charge forward only to look back and find a bewildered crowd who isn’t follow you?
I have, and it ain’t pretty. But, I learned a few things!
I’m contributing to this week’s new Deeper Leader Blog topic
The Deeper Leader SyncrhoBlog sponsored by Evangelical Seminary is running October 7-12th. (A new topic will be offered up for contributions once or twice per month. It’s a great place to read fresh ideas, get inspiration, learn some things, or join in anytime.)
Remember, you too are invited and encouraged to add your voice to this dialogue by commenting here, or over there, or linking up your related article if you get a chance to write one. Go to this page for more details to get started.
You’ve probably learned some things through mistakes, please share your wisdom, I’d love to learn from you.
My “Whoops!” moment happened just when I thought I had some momentum.
(I’m limiting myself to just one, but I have hundreds of thousands to choose from.)
I was leading a class of adults on the topic of spiritual formation (discipleship). I was excited and shared my knowledge about Christian historical practices of prayer and meditation and silence and sabbath and a bunch of other things. When it came time for the practical part where we engaged in one of the practiced introduced, I saw something I wasn’t prepared for: CONFUSION. A wide-eyed look of paralysis. This wasn’t going to work!
I had gone too fast and charged ahead. While my class was interested in growing spiritually most of the concepts I was teaching were unfamiliar to them. Too unfamiliar. My graduate level education on the topic had sort of given me a blind spot I wasn’t taking into account. I had too quickly and assumed we were on the same page, but we weren’t. In some ways we were miles apart.
I had to slow down.
My exuberance had clouded my perceptions too. I thought that a change or some experimentation with a new prayer form would be excited not overwhelming. I realized that I was way ahead of my group, leading a charge for spiritual growth and revitalization but leaving my followers in my dust.
I was failing to walk alongside–as long as needed–until everyone was familiar with the new ground and ready to venture out.
Sometimes we forget about our potential blind spots. Mine was my over-familiarity with my niche. FAIL!
Sometimes we’ve seen it from our view for so long that we lose touch and thereby fail to lead effectively.