Solutions June 2018 - Page 11

are that matters most . The majority of people we lead will be far more impacted by our character and behavior than by the content of our curriculum .
One of the reasons Jesus so harshly condemned the Pharisees was the toxic and contagious nature of their character .
Many of the things they taught were actually spot on . At one point , Jesus even told his disciples to do what they said to do — but not what they did . 1 A few extra rules never killed anybody , but a harsh , judgmental , arrogant , and merciless character is a deadly spiritual cancer that spreads quickly .
The key question every leader has to ask isn ’ t , am I leading by example ? It ’ s , what kind of example am I setting ? Most of us evaluate the example we ’ re setting by the general pattern of our lives . We look at the big picture . But those who are watching us daily don ’ t pay attention to the big picture as much as the exceptions . We tend to judge ourselves by our best moments . They tend to judge us by our worst moments .
If you ’ re generally a laid-back , easygoing , let-it-slide leader , you ’ ll probably see yourself as not easily angered . You ’ ll think you ’ re setting a stellar example of patience , turning the other cheek , bearing with others , and not taking offense . But all it takes is one road-rage incident while I ’ m in your car , and I ’ ll never forget it . It ’ s the same with issues of honesty and integrity . Small things matter . For instance , we expect smart people to occasionally do dumb things . But we expect honest people to always be honest . One lie and the honest label is gone for good . That ’ s why halftruths , disingenuous public praise , and euphemisms used to obscure uncomfortable facts have a far more negative impact than most of us realize . They erode trust , create cynicism , and model deceit in ways most of us miss .
As spiritual leaders we also need to understand that there are no secrets . If every follower is a boss watcher , a corollary is that they ’ re well aware of lots of things we don ’ t think they can see . The things we think no one knows about are often widely known and discussed in hushed tones when we ’ re not around . And the things we think we ’ ve hidden well inevitably come to light when we least expect it .
Whether it ’ s our congregation , staff
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