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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Our Greatest Need

This morning our professor made an interesting statement. He asked the class, "Do you know the answer to every community problem?" We all stared at him a little dumb-founded. Could any one answer possibly suffice? The problems that communities face are so diverse and complex, how could any such simplistic solution exist? But the confidence of our professor was unmistakable. He believed in the answer he was about to give. Seeing no hands raised, he continued by answering his own question. "The answer to every community problem is simply more leaders."

What do you think of that? I know that at first I really had a check in my mind. But the more I think it through, the more it makes sense. This isn't to say that money, systems, resources, etc, are of no importance. It simply means that without leadership, all the money and resources in the world won't solve the problems. Some pundits would interject at this point that governments, schools, and various businesses have proven this! When leaders get involved however, real change becomes possible. And when I say leaders, I don't have in mind only those who are naturally born to lead. What I have in mind is people who care enough about a situation or purpose that they rise to the occasion and take an active role in working for a solution.

If this statement is true, that the answer to every community problem is more leaders, then this is a very challenging thought. You see, most of us would rather throw money at a problem. Or hire an expert to take care of it for us. Or merely go somewhere else where the problem doesn't exist. If the answer is more leaders, more people that will say, "follow me as we give ourselves to this cause", then we are drawn personally into action. This kind of self-sacrifice for the good of a group can be the hardest thing in the world, but it can also be the greatest.

I know that for many people, just this idea about leadership is bothersome. Leading is a scary concept! By and large, most of us don't think we have what it takes to lead. And by and large- I say you're wrong! God has crafted and created each and every one of us with talents, traits, and personalities that uniquely qualify us to lead in a way that no one else can. Do we lack knowledge to lead? We can be trained! Do we lack courage to lead? We can find support from God and others! Do we lack opportunity to lead? God can and will lead us to the place.

As I look at the local church- not just ours but churches all over the place- I can resonate with Dr. McCloskey's words. The answer to every church problem is simply more leaders; more men and women who are captured by God's grander vision of life and have given themselves to him. When our willingness to lead aligns with God's passion to use us, nothing can stop us! Search within yourself- you know the power to influence others is within you. And it's not just you; it's what God has made you to be. Will you lead? Will you wrestle with what this means until God puts an answer on your heart?

As you journey in His grace, may you turn around to find that others have followed your lead.


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