Every leader has volunteered to put aside their own personal safety and agenda for someone else’s benefit. Powerful examples include parents, pastors, scout leaders, and coaches. It’s no cake walk. It’s important for every Christian to realize they are leaders, whether they want to be or not. And if we spend our energy trying to avoid suffering, we will not be an effective leader.
Today we’re talking about suffering and following in Jesus’ footsteps.
Yesterday we said we’re all called to lead. Therefore, we’re all called to participate in this kind of suffering.
Any leader is really putting aside their own personal safety and agenda for someone else’s benefit. Like parents, pastors, scout leaders, coaches, etc.
It’s always hard to lead when you’re in the middle of suffering. This may hang us up if we think we need to be perfect to lead. Or I’m already overwhelmed so how can I take on more stress?
But if we’re honest, we need to answer with a big “yes” to God’s call to lead.
Suffering is a big part of how we lead—so if we try to avoid it we’re not being good leaders.
2 Cor. 1:3-10 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
Evan says leadership is not glamorous.
Liz talks about an example of the museum of socks. Real leadership gets your socks dirty in the trenches with the troops
Liz reads 2 Cor. 12:10-7 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
We need the realistic expectation of it being a hard walk—it’s no cake walk.
You’re a leader whether you want to be or not.
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Liz’s book: Tales From A Spacious Place
Music by: Nu Skiffle Brigade used under creative commons license