Yesterday our staff at The Bridge spent the day at Crossroads for the Injoy Stewardship Challenge and had the opportunity to hear from John Maxwell and Brian Tome. (lead and founding pastor of Crossroads)
Anytime I get the opportunity to be around men who lead, and have led for a long time I feel challenged as a man, pastor, and leader. Our executive pastor, Jeff Flowers had a great post about the conference, and talked about it “recalibrating” his leadership.
I have to admit that I have been in deep need of a leadership recalibration…the addition of two additional staff members at The Bridge has helped tremendously, but the conference yesterday really served as a major turn of the dial for me.
I have spent a good amount of time at The Bridge as the solo lead pastor. It is a circumstance that I strongly caution against when I talk to church planters, and men who feel they may be called to plant a church. Beyond the lack of push back, the lack of accountability, and simply being very lonely, the danger of burnout and a willingness to give vision away for peace is a ever present threat.
Maxwell started out by talking about vision and dreams in the first session yesterday. He started by saying the more valid reasons you have for your dream coming to fruition the more likely it is to occur. He proceeded by talking about the ownership question…is my dream really my dream? He said it was the pinnacle question for a leader…the one on which his or her dream hangs. The notes were…
-All great visions have an owner
-Am I a believer of my vision, or a buyer?
(You don’t own what you haven’t bought. He went on to use the example of a rental car, saying you never stop to wash and wax a rental, because it isn’t yours. You therefore do not care about the treatment it receives from you)
-If you own your vision you will be willing to bet on yourself!
The following questions were about passion, a willingness to pay the price, and tenacity. Each could not be answered in the affirmative unless the ownership question was a resounding yes.
I have to admit the point was a painful but profound turning of the dial for me. The Bridge has experienced so many changes, with so many transitions and difficult decisions. I had honestly come to the place that I had begun to question many things…had been willing to let some vision go in the name of humility, or for the sake of peace…I had begun to fudge on the ownership question.
Maxwell said that if you have bought your vision no one, no one, no one will be able to talk you out of it. There have been times this was true of me…but not lately…and I needed to be reminded of it.
A vision that is rented will lack passion, lack tenacity, be expected to carry a low price, and ultimately fail. It is the mistake of many church planters who either attempt to transplant the vision of another church, or attempt to plant a church alone.
In God’s incredible goodness to me He has seen fit to add two men into my life and leadership at The Bridge. What He is teaching me, and how He is tooling me is a great reminder to me about His redemptive plans for The Bridge and for our city. I praise Him for this, and trust He will continue to be kind to me as I seek to grow as a leader.
I plan on posting the notes from the conference over the next couple of days. Please check them out and let me know what you think.