Monday, August 22, 2005

Being the "No. 1 Guy"

Without a doubt, I am simply a follower... every hour of every day.

And yet, as interim pastor of this tiny church down the road, I am also the "no. 1 guy" in terms of church leadership. These 50 people are looking to me to figure out where they need to go & take them there.

And even just a couple weeks into this, I am realizing all over again that I do not enjoy being the "no. 1 guy." God called me here & I will obey, trusting that He'll come through. But prayerfully & Lord-willing, I will never have to be "no. 1" again.

I love to help others succeed... even other leaders. That is where I am happiest. It's not that I don't like making decisions or taking responsibility... but it sure is lonely at the top. I know... I can hear some of you thinking already, "John, get a team to partner with you. Don't do this alone." And that's certainly in process already. Nevertheless, even with the best team leadership around, there always seems to be a no. 1 person.

I think I'd like to serve on the team of a primary leader without being the primary leader for my long-term ministry. I wonder if that's okay... Or, I wonder if I'm just looking for an easier job that doesn't demand as much incessant self-scrutiny, tireless prayer, & habitual self-discipline.

4 comments:

Toussaint said...

God's blessings upon you brother.

Ephesians 4:1 states: "As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have recieved." John, you walk the walk of a "#1 guy." I have only known you for a short time, but your fruit is very evident. God wants to use you in a mighty way...let Him. With all your heart, let Him. This is your calling; even if it means being the head for such a time as this. The body cannot survive without the head, and a body with more than one head is deformed. Think about it. Have we, in our history, ever seen a truly successful oligarchy in its purest form? Even the Holy Trinity has a head in God the Father.

Is it fear that you are confronting? If so, tell the Lord what you are afraid of and ask Him to guide you through it.

Leading the flock is a large responsibility, however, it is possible to be at the top without being alone. I believe that this will be further revealed as you continue to embrace what God has given you.

The level to which you are held accountable for your own spiritual growth is not unique to your situation. From trucker to priest, we are all commanded to take up our cross and follow Him daily. If its of any consolation, I am fighting the good fight with you brother. I am not the head of a church other than the one I call home, but I am determined to serve Him, along with you, through as much incessant self-scrutiny, tireless prayer, and habitual self-discipline as it takes.

John Lynch said...

Yes... ... ... it is fear.

What am I afraid of?

Something broke in me as I read your comment, brother; & I just cried ... (actually, still crying).

What am I afraid of?

I feel like your comment has given me permission to be afraid ...

... I'm praying (& crying) my way thru this response. It's taking a long time & is probably a bit choppy because I'm figuring it out as I go.

I've done enought shame work in the last year to know the feeling of a hidden wound suddenly exposed. This is it.

I never felt the freedom to be afraid when I was growing up. Fear was for the childish & the weak. I have alienated my fear... alienated that part of myself that is afraid... rejected it as unacceptably childish & weak ... (whoa, that's it... I'm a slobbering mess now).

That's about all I can handle right now. I'm a sobbing snot-monster.

I love you Toussaint.

Thanks.

John DelHousaye said...

John, thanks for your comments. My first church was smaller than yours...about thirty people. I found that leadership was more challenging in that context than in larger ministries. Either the pastor has the charisma and humility to lead or he doesn't. There is no one to hide behind. But I'm not worried about you because you have always had the charisma. What is exciting to read is your desire to lead as a servant, wanting the best for everyone in your community. Blessings on your ministry.

John Lynch said...

Thanks for your encouragement, John. It means a great deal to me & I appreciate it!