Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wanted: Boldness

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things that hold me back. We are serving in an era when bold leadership is clearly needed, but I’ve concluded that “go-for-broke” boldness is a rare commodity. Since Paul told Timothy that “God did not give us a Spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power and love and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7), where is there evidence of that Spirit in my ministry (and in yours)?

One of our mantras as parents is, “If you know the right thing to do, then do it.” But am I passing the “do the right thing” test in my ministry? I am not talking about obvious ethical boundaries, such as propriety in relationships or appropriate financial dealings. Instead, I am asking about the important, direction-setting decisions that will drive or influence the church’s future.

In most churches and most roles, it takes extra time and energy to do the right thing. Not only that, but many of us serve in churches that don’t seem to appreciate (or even want) boldness from us. Instead, they prefer the status quo. And then there’s the reality that we’re in the second chair, not the first, and any bold initiative that we’re thinking about must be done under the authority of our senior pastor.

At the end of the day, however, I think that I’m the biggest impediment to boldness in my ministry and in my church. I could make a long and convincing list of the things that keep me from acting with more boldness. But what I need to do is to ignore the spirit of timidity (it’s not from God) and listen to the Spirit of power that’s calling me forward.

Note: the full version of this article can be found at www.SecondChairLeaders.com