BooksLeadership DevelopmentLN Advance Feature

Confident Leadership in a Time of Tension


By Darren Young 

Are you living in the same tension as I am right now? The tension (in this COVID-19 season) of leading strongly yet also abiding deeply.

Every day I confront challenges that I can’t solve or keep up with. Unique challenges that this unexpected reality has thrust upon us as leaders. It’s 24/7. Yet, I also know that in this space of isolation, God has been beckoning me (if not demanding of me) that I slow down. That I spend extended time with Him.

The tension of these two (doing and abiding) is creating within me a crisis that is as significant as the crisis around me!

Yes, there is a great opportunity in this season to shape our world and see the church reshaped. Let’s not miss that But there is also great opportunity in this season to step back and be shaped by God. While we do the former, let’s not miss the latter.

I want to encourage you to take extended time with God. In His Word, yes. In prayer, most definitely. But also, I want to encourage you in this season to take time to grow as a learner and leader. What if, as leaders, we dusted off a few of those books on our shelves that we’ve been anxious to get to? What if we took the time to open them up? To reflect. To evaluate. To receive fresh insight.

This month my friend Dan Reiland is releasing a new leadership book. Dan is the Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He is a leader with a pastor’s heart and a coach’s instinct. He and I have partnered together on Executive Pastor Leader Groups for the past four years.

Dan’s new book Confident Leader is coming out later this month. Every leader needs to pick it up!

I’ve had the opportunity to get an advance look at his book. It’s relevant for our moment of leading. In a season of fear and uncertainty, Dan writes this in his book:

 

“Fear robs you of confidence and prevents you from leading at your best. Ashely Evans wrote, “The most destructive power of fear is found in its subtle ability to redirect your attention from God to something else.”  This is because it distracts you from what you were meant to accomplish and focuses your attention on something unproductive like worry or doubt.
In addition, Evans wrote, “People allow themselves to be ruled by fear because it is more predictable than freedom.”  In other words, we are creatures of habit and our habits feel comfortable and safe. These may include our favorite people, our favorite coffee, or our favorite programs. As leaders, we, too, can become captive to our routines because they are more predictable than the uncertainty that comes with the unknown. In effect, you can trade freedom for fear, which then lessens your ability to believe in yourself.
Fear makes us want to control, so at times we prefer what we can control rather than leading into the unknown. This gives the illusion of power but it’s actually captivity because we end up chained to a world of artificial authority. This position of protection is one that lacks confidence.”

I encourage you to pick up Dan’s book, sit back, create some space, and read and reflect on what God wants to show you in this season as a leader.
 

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