Friday, May 21, 2010

Leadership and Relationship

Leadership rises and falls on relationship.

Nowhere is that more true than at home. Tonight, after supper, I walked upstairs to change my clothes. Close behind I heard the thumping feet of my five-year-old boy. He was following me. While I slipped on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt he hopped up on our bed and spilled the beans about his day. I learned about how his sister soaked him with the hose and how he got to play the Wii, not once but twice!

Moments later a spontaneous game of "betcha can't get off the bed" erupted. I did my best to restrain and tickle him into submission, hoping to keep him on the bed, while he wiggled and squirmed his way toward the carpet. It didn't take too many little boy squeals to bring my eight-year-old daughter running into the room to see what she was missing. Soon she too was twisted up and laughing right in the middle of everything.

I think that's the heart of leadership. Being able to listen, laugh, and play in a way that draws people into a community of laughter and freedom.

Don't get me wrong, I know life offers it's fair share of pain and disappointment. But somehow I think all that is more tolerable in the midst of a community where leaders know how to listen, play and celebrate in a way that offers safety and protection. I'll likely never play daddy games with my congregation but I hope my commitment to listen and relate to them, and my family, never wanes.

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