Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Weight of Leadership

I'm reading Decision Points by former president George W. Bush.  As a disclaimer, I voted for him twice and loved some decisions he made and thought others were incompatible with my principles.  And that leads me precisely to the point of this entry.

A former coworker in ministry called me about 6 months into my tenure at Heritage Park to ask me a question.  He wanted to know, after all the conversations we had about leadership in the church, if it was everything I ever wanted it to be.  We used to retreat from staff meetings to his office or mine and sort through every leadership decision we would never make, quarterbacking from our armchairs and the safety of tertiary-level leadership.

My answer, after 6 months of "Big Chair" leadership, was that it was harder than I could have ever imagined.  Even today, when people ask me how I like being a pastor, I respond with how hard it is and how much I look forward to going to work every day.  I told my former coworker that if a person got up and spouted heresy, I'd be happy to call them out and do so by name.  Then I told him that if a person got up and made Decision A and not Decision B, I'd say, "That's their call and I hope it goes great and extends the Kingdom."  Leadership just isn't easy and you just don't know the weight of it until you're in it.

Which brings me back to the book and the presidency.  Promises were made in the previous presidential campaign which have not been implemented and it has people screaming.  Here's my bottom line on that:  I have a lot more grace for the men who serve in that office than I did previously.  They get in there, figure out what it's like, and have to make decisions based on what they have in front of them.  Sometimes, they get forced into making a choice between "not good" and "really not good."  Presidents Bush and Obama have made decisions with which I disagree on principle.

I'll stand on my principle but pray harder for them and others like them because it's a mighty weight they carry.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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