One of my greatest struggles as a young, emerging leader in the Church was the feeling that I was only getting half of a story. From my perspective, information was a sign of connection. The more I knew, the closer I was to the leader. There were days when I felt like my leaders were keeping several details from me. I always felt like I was on a ‘need to know’ basis. I imagine they thought I had control issues. Hearing statements like, “trust the process” made me want to punch a wall. I would say to myself (and at times pray to God), “Don’t they know I just wanna be included? I just want to be a part of the solution. I want to help! I can’t help them if I don’t know what is going on!”
Years later, as I continue to develop my leadership skills, I seem to have become the leader I used to get frustrated with. I can hear my co-workers and volunteers having the same perspective I had and feeling the same conflict. Now I cannot speak for all leaders, even the ones who used to lead me, but many are actually making it up as they go. Often when I do not give out information, it is because I honestly do not have the answers. And my fear as a leader is that those following me might walk away if I do not have all of those answers. I used to connect closeness to information. Now I connect closeness to trust. My challenge as a leader is to communicate (and over-communicate) the things I do not know and the ways I am trusting God to lead us to a brighter future.
One more layer…
Any one ever notice that when Jesus says to His disciples and to us, “follow me”, he never seems to tell us where we are going? If you had told me in 2002 that my yes to being co-director of ACCESS218 would one day lead to a brand new campus ministry called CCW, I would not have believed you and probably would have run the other way. Jesus gives us so little information, yet promises to be with us. Our response to the call and promise of Jesus is to trust Him…to be willing to use what information we have to make bold steps of faith personally, financially, relationally and otherwise. We love Him because He works all things out for our good. Even when we are frustrated with our Creator, many have learned that the best thing we can do is “trust the process” as He completes the work He started in us. Without a lack of information, we will lean on our own understanding and walk by what we see. But the scripture says that the “just will live by faith”.
My frustrations with my leaders have often been a sign of my lack of faith in my Creator. More information would never have solved that problem. May we all be willing to trust Jesus a little bit more today, not because we have more answers, but because Jesus can be trusted.