Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Listening, Learning, and Leading

Yesterday I had lunch with our lead pastor, Bob. It was so encouraging and refreshing! There aren't too many lead pastors out there who are willing to take the time to take the young guy on staff out to lunch, not out of obligation but out of personal desire. I've been out to lunch with other lead pastors in the past, and the conversation often becomes a monologue of the pastor imparting their infinite wisdom upon the inexperienced leader. This isn't necessarily bad--sharing advice is good--but there is incredible value in listening before speaking. Bob took the time to listen, ask questions, seek in-depth answers, and share his own wisdom and stories out of relationship and humility. It was a great dialogue, not a monologue. It makes me glad to be a part of Red Mountain!

Bob embodies something that I respect so much in leadership: teachability. The leaders I look up to most are the ones that don't have it all figured out, but are still in process and eager to learn. Mark Batterson puts it this way: we can either do ministry out of memory--do what we've always done because it worked back then--or do ministry out of imagination--lean into the future and be open to learning new ideas. Someone who thinks they've got this ministry thing completely figured out will be sorely disappointed in 5 or 10 years if they aren't willing to change and grow. I want to be the kind of leader who is always learning, always in process, never viewing myself too highly while viewing God incredibly highly, and always ready to listen. 

We can't exhaust the knowledge of God, but we sure can try.

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