spoke at a leadership conference tonight at the bridge in mustang, oklahoma. it served to confirm my notion that i know diddly squat about leadership.
they meet quarterly and it is really a cool format. there were probably 75 volunteer leaders gathered in their amazing youth building to learn and share ideas. i opened up and spoke for 30 minutes (emphasis on motivation), and then they broke up into workshops where staff members teach on a specific topic, or lead a discussion over a book they’re reading together. the meeting is the brainchild of my good buddy, robby mcclure (associate pastor) and i can’t wait to hear how it progresses.
at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “randy, how can you–the one they call ‘the john maxwell of the midwest’–claim to know diddly squat about leadership?”
several months ago i read “sticky church” by larry osbourne. he talked about the need to streamline and simplify our church programs to accommodate the increasingly hectic lives our church members–especially those that serve as volunteers leaders. osbourne’s assessment resonated with me, and in our fellowship we’ve been trying to reprioritize in order to be more effective and less demanding (read “meeting-driven”). as i addressed that group tonight, i could not imagine the scenario i could forward at my church that would compel 75 volunteers to gather. i’ve tried food and guest speakers and unique venues, but my most passionate appeals are generally met with a collective yawn.
it always catches me by surprise when i encounter “faithful people.” the were common in the church of my youth, but they are becoming exceedingly rare. and its okay with me. i have settled the matter and determined to find a way to do ministry in a post-christian culture. still, just when i am beginning to think “faithful people” are extinct, i run across a group–sometimes a sizable group–happily laboring together. i get the same feeling when i see a herd of bison…prehistoric beasts struggling to revitalize the species. i miss the “faithful people.”
nevertheless, if i really understood leadership, wouldn’t i be able to raise up a group of volunteers who would come to a meeting? i’m not about to try to revert to the “good ol’ days,” but is there anyone anywhere who still believes in commitment and loyalty? are we condemned to struggle within a system that requires begging and cajoling?
i would love to hear from some real leaders on this one.