Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Learning Leadership

The quality of your leadership hangs on what you do when those you are leading are not around.

The other day, I was taken by surprise by an afternoon off. Somehow, we had finished our classes for the day and, for maybe the first time since I got here, I was firmly on top of things. Ah, the gift of a moment to breathe. 

You know that moment when you've been slaving away through exam period, and all you've known for weeks is textbooks, tea, memory aids and cereal, and you finally finish your last exam and you're brain automatically jumps to the next one... only to realize there is no next one? You just sort of sit there.. and don't know what to do with yourself for a moment? That is basically how I felt thursday afternoon. 

I love staffing this DTS. People ask me if it's worth it - giving up everything that is known and normal to do this - and all I can think to say is that I am exactly where I was made to be. There is nothing I would rather be doing with my life at this moment. That being said, this position is more than full time. I am learning that discipling is a lifestyle, one that does not only require constant, consistent output but also a standard for yourself that calls others to a new level. So when I find a moment to myself, I usually spend it pressing in and processing everything that is going on around me. 

On Thursday afternoon, I wandered over to the organic farm on campus, thinking I'd just take a casual look around. I found my friend (and self proclaimed african brother) Jackson working on his Master's degree project on agricultural techniques that can be reproduced in developing nations. He asked me to help him out for a few moments, so I grabbed the pitchfork he pointed to and tried to help him shovel the compost without much luck. He proceeded to change my life with his words in the following fifteen minutes.

Jackson took the opportunity to show me something about what I have in my hands. "When all you have is the "wrong" tool for the job, you have to get creative" said Jackson. He taught me in his words about how leadership is really just about being willing to step out first. It's about going where you want others to follow. It's about sticking yourself out there, being real and vulnerable, and striving for right relationship no matter what. I have these gifts; not necessarily a gift of leadership or even administration, which seem really important to leadership, but I am good at encouraging and at taking copious notes. I am designed with a knack for building relationship and for pursuing people. Those are a few of the elements that God has built into me.

And in this season of my life, I get to put those elements forward into a leadership role. I get to step out, in my gifts, my weaknesses, my choices and my annointing and go ahead of individuals that i care very much about. My gifts will determine what leadership looks like. And I'm excited, because in the same way as Esther was, I have been anointed for such a time as this. I have faith for such a time as this. I have wisdom for such a time as this. I am a leader for such a time as this. 

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