I had a good chuckle recently as I read the only three reasons for firing anyone. “First, for not being fired up. Second, for not having the right spirit (which always backdrops subversive actions). Third, not for making mistakes, but for either making no mistakes or not learning from them” (Leonard Sweet, Summoned to Lead, pg84).
Do these reasons point to some ancient secret traits for leadership? I ponder my own life for a moment. How hard can it really be to come to work on Monday mornings with a roaring optimistic perspective that lights up any room? Not that hard. Furthermore, I feel I am learning to think before I act and steer clear of wrong spirited behavior. And, of course, praise God for number three – I make mistakes all the time – I even learn from them. Job security here I come.
I believe we have hundreds of leaders within our MB denomination desiring a chance to lead. But why do we find it so hard to place leaders into leadership positions in our churches? Perhaps therein lies the problem; we create leadership positions rather than creating the passionate leaders. We are behind the times. While the corporate world is looking for cheerfulness and natural modesty, things that promote team spirit, we in the church seem fascinated with issues of competence, skill sets and training (Summoned to Lead, pg82).
As we mobilize for leaders in global mission and local church, I believe we need a change on two fronts. One, we need to allow God to open our eyes to the incredible potential of the many young leaders – ones who nobody in their right mind would fire. Two, we need to embrace them and create opportunities around who they are, their passions, and their giftings. This is more difficult than rejecting a job application for lack of experience. It will require prayer, personal interaction, and time for multiple levels of community discernment.