Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leadership Summit Day 1

Each year at VCC we are a satellite host site for the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, and today was the first of the two-day event. It may be my favorite event of the year. I am acting as the onsite Producer for the event this year, which means a lot of my time is spent monitoring the technical side of things and keeping up with a live chat feed with the producers at Willow Creek. Nonetheless, I still got to engage somewhat with the conference, and, as is usual for the Summit, today was a little like drinking from a fire hose.

I do think there was one overarching theme I took away from today, and that is, "as a leader, you need to do something." That may sound simplistic, but it is true. You may not know completely the direction you are supposed to be heading in. You may not have the resources in place to complete the task. You may not have a crystal clear vision. You may not be able to delineate every step it is going to take you to get from "here" to "there."

But you can take the first step. And you can head toward the thing you believe God is calling you to accomplish, even if you don't have the entire path mapped out. And you can invest the resources at hand toward reaching your goal and trust God to supply what you lack. If the thing you are trying to accomplish is really from God, it is safe to assume he will provide what you need when you need it.

I used to mentor a young guy who had a tendency to get stuck in ruts. He could never see a way out, and was paralyzed by fear because he couldn't see the entire picture. He didn't know where he thought God was leading him, so he didn't do anything, which only made things worse for him. I used to tell him that the first thing he needed to do was head in some direction, any direction. The analogy I used to use with him was of a ship in a harbor. As long as it was sitting still, all God could do would be to spin it around in circles. But if it got moving, then God could steer it; he could even correct the course if it headed off in the wrong direction. But sitting still, the boat is useless.

Sometimes, I need to heed that advice myself. I can fall into the trap of not taking the next step. At times, I don't take it because I don't fully know where God is leading. But other times, I don't take it because I do know where I believe he is leading but I don't have all the pieces in place to get there. But the result is the same. The solution is the same as well: take the next step. That's all God really ever asks of us. Do what we can, and when we have done what we can, he will do what only he can do.