Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Life of Leadership

Leadership is a tricky thing.   We all love to be chosen, and being acknowledged as a leader can be an honor and privilege.   Getting to take a front seat in a ministry that advances the Kingdom can give us an incredible rush, and can give real purpose to a college student's life.  But sometimes once we begin serving in that role, we realize what a heavy responsibility it brings.   It requires surrendering our schedules and our wills; It calls for long days and nights, for difficult conversations and awkward interactions.  Leadership means disappointing and being disappointed by others.

But then you hear stories of lives changed.   You have a late-night conversation with a student who is beginning to understand how much God loves them.  You are reminded of alumni who are serving God with their lives all over the world.  And you realize what an incredible gift it is to be able to be part of something bigger than yourself.  Something that flips the world upside-down through college students!

Our Student Leadership Team, The HUB, has been reading J. Oswald Sanders' book, Spiritual Leadership, this summer in preparation for a new school year.  The chapter on "Responsibilities of a Leader" shares both the seriousness and the joys of leadership. In 1882, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, wrote his rules for a life of leadership.   We should take note of the relevance still today:
  • Eagerly start the day's main work
  • Do not murmur at your busyness or the shortness of time, but by up the time all around
  • Never murmur when correspondence is brought in
  • Never exaggerate duties by seeming to suffer under the load, but treat all responsibilities as liberty and gladness
  • Never call attention to crowded work or trivial experieinces
  • Before confrontation or censure, obtain from God a real love for the one at fault.  Know the facts; be generous is your judgement.  Otherwise,  how ineffective, how unintelligible or perhaps provocative your well-intentioned censure may be
  • Do not believe everything you hear; do not spread gossip
  • Do not seek praise, gratitude, respect, or regard for past service
  • Avoid complaining when your advice or opinion is not consulted, or having been consulted, set aside
  • Never allow yourself to be placed in favorable contrast with anyone
  • Do not press conversation to your own needs and concerns
  • Seek no favors, not sympathies, do not ask for tenderness, but receive what comes
  • Bear the blame; do not share or transfer it
  • Give thanks when credit for your own work or ideas is given to another
Which of Benson's rules get you excited?   Which ones seem more difficult?

1 comment:

jan said...

to me, they all work hand in hand. it shows a heart position of humility, consideration, and gratefulness. if you took just one out, it could upset the whole apple cart.

good stuff to see on paper.... :)