As anyone in a leadership position will tell you, with position comes certain paradoxes. One of the most difficult to deal with for me is the influence/alienation paradox. Well, that's my title for it. I see it in the military, business and church government. As a person rises to a more influential role of leadership, he or she is required to sacrifice in the area of relationship. This sacrifice leads to some form or another of alienation.
Being a highly social person this is an extremely frustrating dynamic for me. I have an incredible job. I'm surrounded by people who pour into me and follow my leadership. As a matter of fact, this season has been one of the most fruitful times in ministry I've experienced. With the spiritual growth we've seen lately at NSM and the incredible success of VELOCITY this summer, it's felt at times like God has focused all His grace and power on our group specifically. I guess it might have felt like the picture on the right did. When you're in the middle of something special God is doing, you feel like it will never end.
However, despite being surrounded by some of the most amazing people in the world, there are days when as a leader you feel as though you're alone in your thoughts and decisions. Take last week for example… I had the unbelievable privilege of spending A LOT of time with some absolutely wonderful people. These people love my family and genuinely care about us. But at the start of a new week, knowing the difficult decisions, conversations and frustrations I will encounter in the coming days, I'm left feeling at times more like the picture on the left.
This is one of the costs of being a leader. Mind you, the benefits far out way the sacrifice. My reason for blogging about this is two fold. One, I'm always trying to fight my insecurities by shedding light on them. Two, hopefully there is a person out there feeling this way that needs to hear that they are not alone in this paradox. The truth is that we're never alone. Not only do I have my wife there for me but we have an eternal helper. It's in these times of painful loneliness that, if we tune in, we can hear from God most clearly.