You thought stepping out in faith and leading a team or a project will just be wonderful as the Lord walks with you? Well, once you encounter the first hurdles you might doubt that leadership is that easy.

Actually, leadership involves pain. It always does. Like a coin with two sides. They are inseparable. This should not make you start doubting your calling and your leadership skills, but to expect that the journey is totally worthwhile but will not be all smooth.

They are bumps ahead as we lead in faith.

I served God in Cote d`Ivoire (West Africa) for a year, when I was just 25, home schooling missionary kids. Germany was very far but I was ready to change the world. Once I got there, a mosquito liked me too much and I got malaria in the first couple of days upon arrival. I was knocked out for weeks. I felt like a total disaster. I had no energy to love people and care for my Muslim friends. I was totally dependent on God. And to my surprise he used me in my crisis and in my weakness. He demonstrated his grace. I was not needed to perform but just to be. At the end of my time there, one of my Muslim friends became a Christian because he had seen my faith lived out in and through a crisis. O my, this was such a wonderful surprise. A lesson not to be forgotten.

Dan Allender in his book “Leading with the Limp” mentions six hurdles leaders will encounter.

Let me list them for you here:

  • Crisis
  • Complexity
  • Betrayal
  • Loneliness
  • Weariness
  • Glory

You can read a book summary here, which explores the issues in more depth: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58a31e0cebbd1a3e2023ef88/t/58d138fef7e0abbf2db9daf3/1490106623656/Leading_With_A_Limp.pdf

Be aware that you might face some of these issues in your future. To know about them might lessen some fear. I am mentioning this, as you are young, explore your skills and start exercising your calling. Many young leaders between the age of 35 and 45 sadly break in leadership and though I cannot spare you from pain, I would love you to run the race well in life and even more importantly finish well.</>

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – (2 Timothy 4:7)

Paul is encouraging Timothy with these words in 2 Tim 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” This is what we should aim at. As difficulties will come our way, do not be discouraged, but keep going and fight the good fight so to finish the race God has put you on. With all that it takes. It is totally worth it. Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ”.

In the end it is all about him.

Corrie ten Boom, a holocaust survivor said once, “Courage is fear that has prayed”. I pray as you start leading and taking on responsibility for projects and people, you will be courageous! Step out in faith and accept pain as part of your journey – God is with you!

I was asked to write this article for the blog for the Global Youth Force, directed by Keith Cote, 29 July 2020

https://globalyouthforce.org/blog/3-leadership-and-pain-go-together?fbclid=IwAR0C6zSSScg_2mMLB5bKQQ83nVQ3lioWD00b58EsdXw77kW0CQj1CKC8OvQ