The Leader Box

Many times as leaders we think it’s easier or safer or even more “appropriate” for us to remain somewhat separate from the people we lead. So we put ourselves in what I call The Leader Box. 

We think the box protects us from being vulnerable, from being more misunderstood, from being hurt. But the truth is, you’re already vulnerable because you stand in front of people every week. And they go home and talk about you whether you’re vulnerable or not. They talk about what you wore, about your message, about expectations they had that you didn’t meet. What they liked or didn’t like. We stay in the box because we think if we don’t, we’ll get hurt. We avoid relationships because we’ve all been burned before. And it’s true, you have to be discerning about people. My wife told me once there is someone untrustworthy in every 12 people you’re around, so you can’t ever completely avoid being hurt by people. Even Jesus didn’t do that.

The truth is: The box is not a safe place. We’ve seen lots of examples in the last few years of what can happen in the Leader Box. Pastors who burn out, inflated egos and moral failings, even suicide. Isolation happens, and you close yourself off from your congregation, and other relationships. 

That’s not what Jesus did. For three years he walked with the no-names, he walked with people that were all over the map – from fishermen to wealthy tax collectors. He had this motley group of followers and he hung out with them every day. He didn’t ignore them and say, “You go over there, I’m going to do my leader thing.” They were companions on a journey together. 

I say again: Leaders, get out of your box. Reject the lie of the Enemy that you can’t trust anybody. That you can’t be vulnerable, because it opens you up. And it does. But when you sit in a small group and honestly open up, when you actually do what you tell your people you want them to do, when you actually live like you’re calling them to live – you are one of them. Broken people saved by grace. 

So step out of the box and into what God has actually called you to do. To seek and save the lost, and to share God’s love with the broken – including your self.

One Comment on “The Leader Box”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.