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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

19 Apr '12

Leadership fear and faith

Is there one key issue you know that you need to address in your organization that you have put off because of fear? The fear may be of dealing with the consequences, explaining to someone that they are not a good fit or needing to make a major shift that you know has unknowns attached to it.

Leadership fear that paralyzes action you know must be taken is not uncommon. You are in good company - but also dangerous company. Leaders suffer from it. Boards suffer from it. Fear is normal but not acting because of it is leadership default.

Inability to address necessary issues can increase with our longevity as leaders. The longer we have been in a position the more we have to lose if we rock the boat. So it is easy to look the other way or even to figure our successor will take care of it. If you inherited such issues from your predecessor you know how well that works!

Often our inability to act comes from confusing the issue we need to address with the question of how we should do it. These are two very different questions. The first question is what do we need to do and once we are clear on that the second is how do we do it

If you have an issue, don't ignore it but make a conscious decision as to what you need to do. Then, start thinking through the strategy for how you can best address it with as little fallout as possible.

Remember that doing the right thing honors God, is what we are called to do in our leadership roles and is critical to the health and missionality of the ministry. I have been amazed at how God has gone before me when I have done the right thing even if it was the hard thing. 

Being willing to address those issues we know we should address is not only a matter of courage but of faith. Do we believe that God honors leaders who do what is best? Do we trust him for the wisdom to do it in a way that is prudent? Do we believe that if He is prompting us to act that He will act on our behalf as well?

Most of us know when we need to act on something. The question is whether our faith or fear will win out. As Paul said, if God has given one the gift of leadership, lead!