Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ATVs: Three Qualities that Make the Difference in Leading

An “ATV” may be an “All Terrain Vehicle,” but in leadership it stands for authenticity, transparency, vulnerability. There are many other character qualities that those who lead worship must have, but those that deal with people skills are some of the most crucial. Let’s look at these one by one:

Authenticity: The idea is that is not simply a copy, but the real thing, it’s genuine. I remember seeing stamped on the inside cover of a Bible I had as a child “genuine leather,” indicating that it wasn’t some sort of plastic, but the real stuff. Leaders who are authentic are the “real stuff” as well. How they act in public is the same in private. Recently I accidently dropped some coins and failed to hear the familiar “ring” of real copper and silver hitting a hard floor. Picking them up it was obvious that they were not solid, but a mixture of inferior metals. They had the appearance of the real thing, but were not of the same quality. Godly leadership “rings true” regardless where it is and with whom it relates. What they know from Scripture is what they practice. Character and integrity are not just subjects talked about, but practiced.

Transparency: Willingness to share weakness and admit wrong seems on the surface to be counterproductive. The idea here is not that the person is perfect, since only Jesus Christ is the only one on this Earth that has ever been and will ever be perfect. All of the rest of us are not. So, we are not talking about perfection, but the ability to recognize one’s on limitations and the humility to be open to share those weaknesses with those whom God has called us to serve. When we fail to admit our weaknesses, we only fool ourselves. Those around us generally are painfully aware of those areas in our lives in which we fail to function properly and many times are suffering under the situation. True leaders not only recognize and admit their weaknesses, but bring along side of them those that are strong in those areas and do not feel threatened.

Another part of transparency is the willingness to receive criticism and be informed about blind spots. When our son was taking a drivers education class the instructor made a statement that our son shared with me later. The teacher said that the blind spot in the typical vehicle is big enough for an 18-wheeler to fit in and not be seen. That is a startling fact, but just as big are the “blind spots” in our own character. How many “18 wheelers” of unloving attitudes, pride, unforgiveness, to mention a few are lurking near us ready to cause ministry collisions? If we are not open to hearing about our blind spots, or do not have those with whom we can receive such information, it is only a matter of time before things come crashing down.

We must always be wise in our transparency, for the time and place for such openness is just as crucial as the act of sharing itself. However, this should not be an excuse to avoid being transparent, especially within a group that we accountable.

Vulnerability: Vulnerability is closely linked to transparency, in fact one cannot exist without the other. For there to be true transparency, one must be willing to be vulnerable. It is risky. All manner of fears come to our minds: What will people think if I tell them that I have trouble with my prayer life? What will they think if I admit weakness in other areas? Transparency and vulnerability allow others to see the human side of leadership and help “take them off the pedestal,” allowing identification to take place. Is this biblical? Let’s see what Paul has to say in Romans 7:19 “ For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” If the apostle Paul was honest about his life, should not we be as well? Is it worth it? I think the choice is obvious: We have a choice to remain disconnected from those around us, or we can become bridges and models of how to apply the truth of Scripture in our lives. Godly leaders are authentic, transparent, and vulnerable because the command to make disciples requires it.

No comments:

Post a Comment