Monthly Archives: September 2016

Life Thoughts: Leadership and Being Alone

Leadership is being Christ’s disciple for it costs a lot. Sanders gives us a rundown of things that a leader experiences. And I think that he nails each one. As he said, leadership is “to be willing to pay a price higher than others are willing to pay.”[1] I can relate very much to how he discussed loneliness.

Sanders points out that leaders are always ahead of his followers. He sees all that the followers are yet to experience, may it be good or bad. He tests the waters first. He goes under fire first. He faces the people first. And this can be very lonely especially when there is no one to guide the leader, all but himself, God’s guidance, and sometimes, gut feel. I have experienced this so many times. Because being a leader means that I should place other people’s welfare first than mine, at the end of the day no one stands by for me. There are times that even though I am broken and exhausted, I should still face the people, smile, and lead. For a leader, there is no other choice, especially when they look to no one else but me. Indeed it is lonely. Anderson, Hayford and Patterson puts this cost of leadership exactly:

Sometimes, the loneliness of leadership means I feel the heavy weight of decision making—a weight nobody else can carry for me. Sometimes the loneliness of leadership makes me wonder if somebody painted a bull’s eye on my forehead. Sometimes it even gives me a kind of glorious feeling, like, “Gee, here I am, battered and bleeding, sharing the sufferings of Christ; ain’t I wonderful?”

But usually, I find that the loneliness of leadership leaves me wondering, “Where did everybody go?”[2]

Sanders closes this by saying that “the leader must be a person who, while welcoming the friendship and support of all who offer it, has sufficient inner resources to stand alone.”[3] And as leaders, we should stand on God and His promises. We are not truly alone!

 

[1] Sanders, J. Oswald, Spiritual Leadership, (Mandaluyong, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1997), 149.

[2] Leith Anderson, Jack W. Hayford and Ben Patterson, Who’s in Charge? : Standing Up to Leadership Pressures, Mastering ministry’s pressure points (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1993), 155.

 

[3] Sanders, 154.

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Life thoughts: Ministry Relationship Overload

Someone need not to be young in order to experience relationship overload. I am just 26 but sometimes I do experience this. I am music director and worship leader in our church, as well as a youth leader. I sometimes preach in the youth fellowship and will soon be preaching in the morning worship service. I also teach music in a Bible college here in Manila and it tends to be more than just a class when I am present there but a discipleship session as well.

The first thing I do is shut off myself from the world, not in a bad way of course. Aside from teaching music in a Bible college, I also teach music in 2 other different music schools. All of that with studying can sometimes really burn me out. I’ve done this maybe just three times in the past 2 years. I go somewhere, spend 2 to 3 days there, and just write worship songs. I love writing songs because it combines 2 things that I love, the Word and music. And in the past year I’ve written around 10 songs just by being away for a while from the world. It also gives me plenty of time to meditate on God’s Word and will in my life. Times will be spent just walking around or sitting in a nice café reading something. The absence of wifi is also helpful because work tends to try to catch up with me wherever I am. Sometimes, there will be days where I feel so down that I cancel my college classes (I make up for them anyway). I just spend one whole day out of the house and work, buy some books, which I find really therapeutic, maybe watch a movie all by myself. Recently, this has happened more often and I find it energizing for the days ahead after that.

Second thing I do is meet up with old friends. These are not the people who I met because of ministry but friends who I have known well ever since I was a kid. Knowing me before anything has really happened in my life is so beneficial because they will not judge who I am now because of my ministry but they will listen and encourage me because they’ve seen me develop a heart for God and the ministry since I was young. Recently I’ve had a short talk with my childhood bestfriend. I told him that I miss our times in the past because now every young man in church looks up to me and I keep on looking for that person who understands my language. My friend and I are of the same age anyway. Having that nonstop one hour conversation with him encouraged me as he reminded me of our commitments to God in the ministry during camp when we were young. It was also a way for me to encourage to learn about God and His Word more by studying. Old friends are the best because they know my life, not just my life in the ministry which every other person in church tends to see.

Life thoughts: I AM that I AM

The lesson that impacted me a lot with the study of the book of Exodus is the nature of the name of the Lord which He revealed to Moses in their encounter on the scene of the burning bush, particularly in Exodus 3:14. The Lord said, “I AM WHO I AM.” Ancient culture have a way of pronouncing their child’s name by the context of their birth (like Moses) or a prophecy or blessing (like Emmanuel). The name of God stands the same as He is “I AM WHO I AM.”

 

Thinking about this over the weekend, I cannot help but to be in awe on the different theologies that have come out from this passage. His name YWHW/Jehovah is a name based on the Hebrew VERB “to be” or “to become.” This made me think: God’s name is from a verb? It denotes God who is a God of action, and a God who supersedes time that His work and His name’s glory continues from past to present and to the future. He is not a God who just sits on His throne, but a God who acts on our behalf (Is. 64:4), making it possible for us to experience His glory day to day. He is not a God who just saved us and left everything on our own hands, but a God who carries out His work in us until it is completed when Christ returns (Phil. 1:6).

 

This should bring comfort to every believer who is growing to be impatient and restless upon the will of the Lord. God is not yet done. Our lives are in His hands (Job 12:10). If He has been faithful to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt and into the land He promised Abraham, then He will be true to His word that He will never leave us and forsake us (Deut. 31:6).

 

Another comfort this can bring us is the fact that He is from everlasting to everlasting. Our God that we worship, adore and study today is the same God that delivered the Israelites with all His power and might. We have the assurance that the powerful of God of the Israelites is the same powerful God we have. He is the same forevermore (Heb. 13:8), and He is the Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8), the beginning and the end. And this is God’s name: I AM WHO I AM!