Raise challenging questions. Speak from your core values. Surface unresolved conflicts. These are the pearls of wisdom that I gathered from my intensive course at Trinity Lutheran Seminary last week, while studying the qualities of effective leadership. Like most everything else, leadership is much easier said than done. The most important first step to take is understanding yourself as a leader. We all have God-given gifts, passions, and skills that God calls us to share with those around us. We all are leaders, capable of equipping others to have a meaningful impact at Lord of Life and in world. How are you feeling called to lead?
The courage to raise challenging questions is essential for growth. Through the process of asking these questions, we can better understand who we are as a community. By being grounded in our mission and rooted in the Gospel, we can learn to view radical and invocative ideas as opportunities for meaningful dialogue.
Knowing who we are requires the ability to speak from our core values. These values are formed by our identity as Christ-followers, and articulating them often takes practice. Take a few minutes to jot-down what you believe are your core values. Are you running out of space on your scrap paper or is your paper blank? Coming up with a list of core values can be difficult, but our values are what shape us. The values of Lord of Life, congruent with the values we find in Scripture, are what make this place come alive on Sunday morning and throughout the weeks. All the way from the 108 preschoolers playing and learning here, to the many Bible studies and recovery groups supporting and teaching here, our mission is formed by the people God serves in our space.
In the midst of ministry, not everything is as life-giving. Surfacing the unresolved conflicts in relationships and within our community is the not so fun side of being in community together. But, one cannot garden without pulling weeds. Whenever I am involved in conflict, I try and tackle the challenge head on, while staying focused on the future. Being open and honest about the current struggle is important, but we must live as Resurrection-people, by living with the assurance that God will bring restoration and healing.
This Sunday, we will experience the joys of Lord of Life’s Ministry Fair. Many of our outreach partners will be represented, along with the many ministry areas from Lord of Life. It will be a bustling morning filled with opportunities to meet inspiring people and share meaningful conversation. There is no better time to think about your own leadership roles within this community. The question is not whether God is calling you to lead, but where?