This past summer at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit I had the opportunity to live blog for Engage Churches, a part of the Willow Creek Association. I was blown away listening to the teaching of Chris Brown, a pastor at North Coast Church in California. Here’s some of what I wrote that day…
This afternoon, Chris Brown (not that Chris Brown, a different Chris Brown) started with the story of a man approaching a campfire. Creeping forward, and then walking back into the shadows while others by the campfire gossip about his failed leadership around the issue of a certain giant named Goliath.
The man is King Saul. For over a month Saul has been called out and he knows he doesn’t have what it takes. His ministry is paralyzed. His leadership is paralyzed. He’s a leader in trouble who is bailed out by a kid named David.
And then it goes out on Twitter (as it were). 1 Sam. 18:5-9 “Saul has killed his thousands. David his ten thousands.”
Huh?? Big gasp. How is Saul going to react?
“From that time on, Saul kept a jealous eye on David.”
Saul didn’t have room in his chariot for David, the young twerp who bested him.
Leaders struggle with jealousy and comparison. Pride and ego. It’s in the Bible. A lot.
In Mark 10 we see it in the disciples. They sound like toddlers.
“I’m number one.”
“No I’M number one!”
Whose kingdom is this?
And so Chris offers a challenge: It is about you, and you have to give it up. Make room in your chariot and make others better.
Don’t make God’s church a hierarchy. That’s the culture. Our calling has to trump our culture. Don’t ask, “How can I be the best leader I can be?”, but “How can I be the best Jesus I can be?”
Chris offers three questions to think about:
1. Do I have room in my chariot for a David or Davida?
2. When forced to choose, do I expand God’s kingdom or my reputation?
3. What difference is the Holy Spirit making in how I currently lead (or live!)?
Which one of these questions makes you say “Ouch!”? Me? I’m squirming thinking about #2.