Why are so many of us drawn towards the image of the humble &reluctant leader, and not drawn to the image of the inspired, impassioned leader with a dream? I’m aware that my own vocational story can be told from either perspective, and I most often choose to relay it through the lens of humble reluctance. Does this say something about me as an individual, about our culture, or about the times that we find ourselves in?
Here’s the bottom line. If I am a humble, reluctant leader then the primary means by which people will measure my ministry is through my faithfulness. They will admire the fact that I gave up an easier path in my determination to be faithful to God’s call on my life. They won’t really expect much from me, other than my faithfulness. On the other hand, if I tell my story through the lens of the gifted and called, passionate leader with a vision for something more for the Church and the determination to pursue that call, then I had better be prepared to deliver something substantive. It’s a lot safer to be reluctant and humble in our leadership narratives, than it is to be bold, passionate and persistent.
Would it make a difference, in this chapter of church life, if we reexamined our vocational stories and more carefully told the part of the story that focused on our pursuit and passion for ministry? Might we energize our congregations in some different ways? I wonder.