How Proximity Can Affect Your Perspective

“I can see it’s not level from here!”

I didn’t actually say that out loud. ¬†But it’s what came to mind as I was watching a a hired worker on a scissor lift hang crosses from our Sanctuary ceiling in preparation for our Easter services.

He was roughly 25 feet off the ground as I witnessed him pull out a leveling tool to see if the cross was level.

level

I almost laughed.  It was so obvious from where I was positioned on the ground and about 30 feet from him.  The cross was very crooked.  But his proximity to the work being done was so close that the degree of inaccuracy was not clear to him.  He needed a resource, a level, to bring it into perspective.

This is often the case with leaders when they find themselves in particular seasons in their company or church. ¬†Sometimes we end up so close and focused on a problem or need for change that we simply cannot see the obvious. ¬†In these times it’s often a good idea to consider involving the perspective of someone not as close to the situation as we are. ¬†Someone whose proximity is more distant. ¬†This ‘level’ can either be someone on another team within your organization or a hired consultant.

So many times, these people will step into our situation and almost immediately take notice of something that was staring you and I right in the face the entire time.

Where are you looking for that ‘A-Ha’ moment? ¬†Do you have others helping you who don’t have a direct connection to your present situation?

Join the discussion. ¬†I’d love for you to leave a comment below.

Ministry Leadership, part 3

photo by: usfbap.org

(Reflecting on chapter 3 of Jim Wideman’s book on leadership)

Jim writes about ten fundamentals of authentic leadership in this chapter.  Here are the top three that most resonated with me.  Get the book and read about the other seven for yourself.

Leaders set an example Jim says to give others something worth following. ¬†This is so true…and not just regarding ministry work. ¬†The way you and I tangibly live out our personal lives will greatly impact the trust level people have in us. ¬†The people we lead need to observe zero difference in our personality and character inside and out of the office.

Leaders grow spiritually This is a topic I’ve personally come to understand & respect more in the past year than in my prior 20 years of ministry. ¬†Ministry doesn’t just begin with the Spirit moving us toward Kingdom work. ¬†The Holy Spirit lives in us as believers. ¬†If our lives are spiritual, then shouldn’t our work and leadership be reflective of how close we are growing toward our Father? ¬†It is absolutely critical that church leaders constantly revisit the spiritual disciplines to keep themselves sharp and useful.

Leaders are lifelong learners This is as valuable to the young seminary grad as it is the 70 year old pastor who has been leading the same church body for 50 years. ¬†Read books on leadership (even some from secular authors). ¬†Study examples of Jesus and how he led the disciples. ¬†Attend a conference once a year. ¬†And finally, find yourself a life coach (mentor, or accountability partner). ¬†You and I don’t know everything, and the things we lack will limit the effectiveness of our leadership.

Which one of these have you struggled with or had success?