Day 16: Wrong
“Leaders who cannot be questioned end up doing questionable things.” – Jon Acuff
I like being right. LOL. Every time I say that it makes me laugh. I mean, who doesn’t like to be right? The alternative is to be wrong or even worse, to be misunderstood. Ten years ago, I became a lead pastor and it felt like there was no room for being wrong. The pressure to be right and get it right was a heavy load to carry. Someone told me “don’t screw this up” and I thought, “I am going to die”!
In the first year of our little baby church, people came and went. A good friend warned me that the group I started with would look completely different after twelve months. Wow, he was right!
I made some good decisions in the first year and I made some bad decisions. Being right is so complicated! God used every single decision as a learning tool and I do not regret that first year, except for one thing. One decision that was absolutely wrong. And it cost me. By the time I realized what I had done, it was too late. I tried to fix it, but the damage was done. The only saving grace was saying I’m sorry and admitting that I was wrong.
The experience taught me that my two greatest assets were humility and a teachable spirit. I thought I had an open door policy with my leadership team. However, the situation helped me to understand. Thus, I have worked hard to develop a true open door policy through collaboration over the last nine years.
Collaboration is much more difficult. It is easier to make decisions and let others carry them out, but it sets us up for trouble. The last year has been a challenge for every leader. Sometimes collaboration absolutely does not work in a crisis. My leadership abilities were stretched in so many ways. Each challenge showed me that people are looking for a leader in a crisis, not collaboration. Someone just needs to make a decision.
So here I am, ten years later, doing what I did the first year. Back then I was wrong, but now I am right. Leadership is so complicated!
That quote by Jon Acuff has followed me all year long. No one likes to be wrong or even worse, misunderstood. Every question and criticism seemed to dangle in the air like bait on a hook. Yet, God kept reminding me that I had to remain teachable and that I would not die if I got it wrong.
In the last year, I have made some good decisions and I have made some bad decisions. But I do not have any regrets. I have learned so much. The more I know, the more I realize how much more I need to know. All these years later I am okay with being wrong. Not so much with being misunderstood. I am not the leader I want to be, but I am not the leader I used to be. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
During Lent, I am keeping myself open to being questioned. It is keeping me humble and it is keeping me on the right path.