September 19 | Uncharted Territory
Merriweather Lewis and William Clark have struck my interest through the years. The tenacity and grit of these explorers and the landscape they found themselves facing while functioning as such a well-knit team made it rare to hear their names apart from one another. There is much that can be gleaned from those brief observations of leadership; grit, adaptive leadership, mutual submission, and unity.
In Todd Bolsinger’s book, Canoeing the Mountains (a fantastic read, by the way), he tells the story of Lewis & Clark’s exploration and applies it to our context of ministry leadership today. Today, leadership is moving into uncharted territory - navigating context we have never seen and engaging a rapidly changing culture that changes the footing of what we knew was tested and true regarding our area of expertise.
“Reorientation. In a Christendom world, vision was about seeing possibilities ahead and communicating excitement. In uncharted territory- where no one knows what’s ahead- vision is about accurately seeing ourselves and defining reality.”
-Dr. Todd Bolsinger, Vice President and Chief, Leadership Formation, Fuller Theological Seminary
Perhaps, what worked before does not work any longer. Perhaps, fatigue or frustration have settled in because we thought we knew, and, not for lack of effort, the methodologies we tried left us falling short. Leader, you are the chosen vessel to lead your local congregation. You are God’s masterpiece. Whether you are rural, suburban, or urban in context, you are both anointed and appointed for this unique assignment. But the landscape has changed, and, therefore, we must adapt and adjust for effectiveness.
Do you know the gift of your limitations?
Are you open to others speaking into your areas of limitations for you/your congregation’s benefit?
Have we defined reality clearly?
Seeing ourselves and our conditions clearly is essential in the ability to acclimate and remain malleable towards mission.
“14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4: 14-16 NLT
Until All Have Heard,