Morning Coffee: When People No Longer "Benefit" You: A Leadership Philosophy

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday to you! Can you believe it? It's already almost the weekend and it's the FREAKING END OF SEPTEMBER! I'm seriously going nuts over how fast this year is going... You guys, It's going to be October in two days!

Surprisingly that's not all I want to talk about!  Nate and I have been in leadership in various capacities, and because we've moved around a lot, our relationships with the people in those ministries have changed. Our relationships have changed and so have our lives because our locations are different, but the mission stays the same. The mission is Jesus, and that stays the same forever.

But what happens when you're not the person moving away? What happens when people move away from you? We have been blessed not to see a ton of turnover in our ministry thus far, but we have a lot of young single adults in our ministry, AND we deal in the realm of reality... people are going to move. As leaders we HAVE to remember the fact that God is developing people apart from us, and that sometimes includes them going out on their own. We also have to remember as leaders we're training up new leaders who have their own dreams and aspirations and other places/churches are going to need them. When God is in it, it's a good thing that they go. When God is answering the prayers of our team members we need to cheer them on.

What if we ARE the reason their leaving? Welp... We ask them, and the Lord for forgiveness. Even when we feel like they're in the wrong.  Leadership is hard, even kind of sucky at times, and always humbling. The hardest and scariest part of leadership is that we are not without sin/pride and we're gonna hurt people. Our leadership styles aren't going to match everyone, but if we are consistently hurting people, it's time for us to take a serious step back. We have to make sure we are ALWAYS praying, for wisdom, compassion, and humility. Even when things are going well, and we're the best leader around (we're not though,  because we're not Jesus), If you're reading this and you're thinking, "good thing that's not me!" Maybe ask around... I did, and it was brutal.

Now, of course cheering on our friend's dreams, or asking for forgiveness is easier said than done (especially that second one) These people are our friends who become like family to us. We love them and seeing them go is painful and so sad, and on a practical level no one can do what they can do, so we may try to convince them to stay with us. When it's written out like that, it obvious that fear is the driving force. However, in the moment, it's a lot easier to think that we're "counseling" people. In reality we're actually comforting ourselves. This is overly simplified of course, but sometimes it's helpful for us to see it in these terms.

Good friends encourage each other's dreams and goals. We had that leaving Napa. We were cheered on (and are still being cheered on) and believed in. It means everything to us. AND one day, when God is answering the prayers and fulfilling the dreams of our people and they go on to follow God's plan for the lives, we will get to say "We got to serve with them, and now look..." And then I'll start to cry, because I love seeing people's dream's come true and watch then serve the Lord with their gifts and talents.

So... what do we do when people no longer benefit us? We remember that they were never meant to "benefit" US in the first place. We serve Jesus by serving others, and when God multiplies our ministry, we thank Him, and we get excited for what God doing. Easier said than done emotionally, yes. But holding on to people for our own personal reasons is selfish, and potentially damaging. What do you think? Have you had people leave? Are you someone who feels like God is moving them somewhere? Let me know! I wanna hear, and pray! Thanks guys!! See you soon!