I'm starting a group I don't want to lead.
I've been working on Mess to Majesty. In the book, I share stories from my life, my mess, that I have brought to His Majesty. One of those stories is about a season when I was leading a women's ministry in my church. The story focuses on how I let comparison keep me from growing because I was comparing my leadership style and my ideas to other people's leadership style and always finding myself short. I was deferring to someone else's style instead of having the courage to step out and try my own.
As I was writing this story, I realized I was still holding myself back from leading, which is where the introduction comes in -- I'm starting a group I don't want to lead.
That was the story I told a group of ladies about this time last year and for the last year. I want to be in the group and I want a place for community and growth, but I don't want to lead.
The group has done well. We're a group of 10 ladies right now that's committed to personal spiritual growth. We are learning to have healthy relationships with ourselves and others. Over the summer things were getting rocky. Nothing big and there were lots of good things happening. Still, we were starting to flounder.
In the process of writing my stories for Mess to Majesty, some of the ladies in the group sharing what they were sensing, and finally talking to the Lord about it I realized why we were floundering,
We needed a leader.
Not having a clear leader was causing problems in our group and the problems were going to get worse because we're being intentional about our own personal growth. We are working on our relationship with the Lord, our relationship with ourselves and our relationships with each other. This can be hard stuff. We need a leader. We need somebody that's willing to stand up and say,” I'm responsible”, which is my top strength.
One of the lines in my story is “I do know how to lead”. God showed me I still didn't believe that. I was still holding back from leading by saying to the group, “I want to be part of the group but I don't want to lead.” It wasn’t fair for me to say, “This is my vision. You lead it, you make it happen.” He also showed me how I was being dishonest to them and to myself. I did want to lead. I do have a vision for the group. I know what I want it to be.
I told myself that I couldn't lead and be a member of the group. There was a level of distance, a mask, I needed to keep in place as a leader. I could only be so vulnerable. I could only be so messy. I didn't think I could show up and allow the group to minister to me if I was the leader.
I do not believe that is true. But that is what I was telling myself. So in some ways, I did believe it was true. That is one of those messy places I write about in the book, too.
I think I did need a season of being a member and not seeing myself as the leader even though I kind of was leading. Now that I'm through that season, God's saying it's a new season. Step into leading the group with the vision you have for the group and for the ladies to grow.
After talking to the ladies and talking to God I addressed the whole group. I told them I had not been honest with them and it wasn’t fair for me to say I was not leading, but I really was.
The only way I will know if I can lead and if my ideas about leadership are effective is to try it. Then I can get feedback from people of what works, what doesn't work, and what I need to be doing differently.
I want leadership that can give and receive. I want leaders who are one of the group. Leaders that not only say “We’re just like you.” leaders that show they are just like us. I think there are so many wounds in the church from leadership that can't do that. Leaders that always need to be the one giving and right.
I want to see a new generation of leaders who are able to be human, to say, “I'm doing my best, but I need help here and I need support.” And that's the kind of leader I want to be because that's the kind of leaders I want to raise up.
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