My Greatest Struggle As A Leader

There’s an idea that you have it made when you’re placed into a leadership position. This idea isn’t shared by anyone in that position. This month marks two years since I was hired as a supervisor, and at times it’s a grievous burden to be a leader.

Why?

Because I care.

First some background. The position was created around four years earlier and I applied both times. I was unsaved the first time and was planning on using my knowledge of social dynamics to manipulate people to do what I wanted. Me against them, seeing them mostly as cogs in a machine. I didn’t care then.

I took my name out of the running before I was interviewed.

The second time the position opened up, I had been a Christ-follower for a year and prayed about it. Obviously I got it, and honestly, I regret it at times.

The Grievous Burden

What grieves me is those that were terminated or quit under my care. One young guy tried so hard, yet just couldn’t cut it in the position he was hired for. I worked with him, encouraged him, and got to know him. He was let go.

His last day I knew it was coming, and it broke my heart to see him trying so hard still. He had no clue that he’d wake up to a phone call the next morning informing him that he was fired.

Another guy, a good worker, hurt himself and was given every chance in the world. When he was skipped over during a hiring cycle, I was one of the ones to talk him, to talk him out of quitting. Encouraging him to excel in another position at the plant.

And he did. Then he lost his temper, quitting before they could fire him.

Another, recently, was fired. Had been employed at least two years, with problems a mile long, often disciplined, and missed work a lot. He lived nearby so I gave him rides when I could to keep him from getting fired for absenteeism. Ended up counseling him often when we weren’t geeking out over comics. He was a friend.

Time For Confrontation

The day he was fired, I learned of a bet on when it was going to happen. The attitude displayed in it angered and disappointed me. Especially since it was someone else who I’m mentoring now.

I confronted him, asking if it was true.

“Maybe…” he answered hesitatingly.
“He may have brought it on himself, but it is heartless to bet on another losing their job.”

The kicker is, he rigged the bet, having overheard about it. I mourned the loss of integrity. You know the saying ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’? That was what was happening then.

His justification was he wanted to get one over on the other guy. I quoted 1 Thessalonians 5:15 to him, “don’t repay evil for evil”.

Afterwards, I determined that the day I don’t grieve the loss of one of the crew is the day I step down as a supervisor. I will have lost my heart.

How Can I Reconcile All This?

You see, when you see those who work under your authority as people who have lives, hopes, dreams, and struggles instead as pieces on a chessboard, you will start to care about them. It’s not you versus them, it’s you and them together with the goal to do the job well. All balanced on the good of the customer, the company, and them as a person.

At least that’s how I see it.

The Lord Is Faithful In Your Struggle

Have you ever felt like an ant in a mean kid’s ant farm? Trouble comes to everyone in this fallen world, even good people. I know a few of them. Pastor Rod preached a sermon on lessons from his own family’s struggles. I pray that it helps you, too.

Troubling Times

Are you facing something now? More trouble could be coming; Satan loves to pile on, hoping to distract you. But remember Jesus’ word’s in John 16:33; “In this world, you will have trouble, take heart! I have overcome the world.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
Lamentations 3:22

He also said that God will use unlikely people in unexpected ways to remind you of His faithfulness. Be ready, and willing to hear. Can you remember that happening?

Faith

cryingHere’s an important point: experiencing emotion isn’t a lack of faith. You can express them, just read Psalms or Job. We’re not robots and can still have faith while wracked with emotion. Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…”

I said it myself during our last miscarriage.

You can even take a step of faith during your fear. Find an area to put more trust in God. Rather than allowing a wedge to come between you and God, get closer.

Why?

We wonder why things happen, and unless a natural consequence is evident, we usually don’t know. What we can do is use it. Pastor Rod referenced the verse that that got me involved in leading GriefShare at church.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

 

The principle is God can and will use your trouble to minister to others. He can actually use trouble to protect and position you for His help and blessings when you look in hindsight. Many ministries have come from that principle.

All seven of FirstNLR’s GriefShare leadership team is evidence of it. The leaders in Celebrate Recovery, DivorceCare, our single mom’s ministry, etc. We’ve gone through it, and because of it, we can walk with you rather than just talk to you. I’ve linked to all of them if you need someone to walk with you through your troubles.

When you share your struggles, you can receive the support of God’s people. God has an assignment and purpose for you, even in troubling times. Respond with radical dependence on Him.

We can’t choose what’s happening, but we can choose our outlook.

The Lord is Faithful

Pastor Rod’s outlook is God knows, and He is faithful.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 

If you want to see the sermon of Pastor Rod and Cindy’s cancer journey, you can watch at http://subsplash.com/firstnlr/v/bkax35p