Friday, July 23, 2010

The Blind Leading the Blind

I had a kairos moment today. It involves leadership. I have been focusing on leadership this month in July as I seek to learn more clearly how Jesus led his close 12, his 72 disciples and the crowd.

So, how does the blind lead the blind?

I will start out with a story of what took place just one week ago today. I was in Michigan, reuiniting with 10 of my college friends, some I haven't seen for probably 20 years. At the end of our first night, a good friend and I tried to go down to the beach. We found the pathway but soon discovered it was pitch dark. The stairs kept changing sizes and twisted and turned, but even so at first we had a rope to hold onto. Eventually even the rope gave out. My friend called it the "Death March" because being in the dark seems like death at times.

About 3/4 of the way down, she had a big aha! She remembered that I had my phone and I could shine some light on the pathway. Even though the light was small, it gave us everything we needed to get to the bottom of the stairs and out into the most magificent sky I have seen in a very long time. Suddenly the dark was filled with brilliant light.

How was I leading my friend when I was also in the dark?

Today, as I was on my huddle call with 3dm, I heard the leader, Steve, talk about how the past 5 years of his life have looked when he has been in an intentional discipleship relationship. Suddenly, he is being held accountable for things that no one had ever looked at with him before. At times, he wanted to run to the dark and hide, but in the security of his relationship with his huddler, or discipler, he began to take his character out of the dark, hidden places and bring them into the light where it wasn't so scary. He has been able to celebrate that he is more and more living a life that looks like Jesus.

Today I read this very theme again: the blind leading the blind. We are the most effective leaders when we teach others to lead themselves. It takes the burden of leadership off of us, and puts it back into the place where the person can do the best job, when they are given trust and security and accountability.

One of the benefits too, is that when I choose to be appropriately open about my character challenges, I receive the love and support from the Body, bringing me into a place of safety and care too. This happened just last week at one of my huddles, when I opened up, they loved me well. I felt my character take a small shift closer to Jesus.

One of the reasons that Missio Lux has chosen to align with 3dm (www.weare3dm.c0m) is that I see a light of character and integrity to their lives. They are fully who they are all the time; no one is attempting to cover anything up or to take anyone down or to climb the ladder on the back of another. They have learned the art of self leadership through the lifeshape: Learning Circle which takes a kairos moment (when God breaks through and gets our attention) and gives us a structure and safe people to move around the circle of changing our mind which brings a change of behavior.

I hope that more and more I will, as a leader, make helping others to lead themselves, my highest priority as we all take the narrow road towards Jesus, the ultimate leader who teaches in the light.

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