you can’t lead from your office

The island thing didn’t work out so well for me. You’ve heard, “No man is an island” (John Donne 1572-1631). This statement basically means that none of us were created to do life alone. Human beings do not thrive when isolated from others. I just came through an especially isolated season, not because of any deliberate decision on my part, but more as an evolutionary thing. The administrative load at church was pretty heavy and I found myself stuck in the office way too much. I was saddled with lots of intense decisions and pressure. More computer time – less human contact. More head-down pushing through the grind and less head-up looking for life.

Some things resulted:

  • detachment from people outside my immediate circle
  • minimization of my impact on others
  • discouragement

So a few weeks ago, I made a very intentional decision to personally engage more people and a wider variety of people. I started making appointments with some people I did not know well. I reached out to some friends that I haven’t spent much time with recently. I started meeting more guys for lunch and coffee and hang out time. I found this to be energizing and invigorating. I learned lots of things I did not know. I got feedback I did not know existed. I made some new friendships and strengthened some old ones. The cloud of discouragement hanging over me dissipated. It was life-giving! I am a much happier person right now.

I came to this conclusion: I cannot lead this church from my office. I have to be out among the people.

Administrative stuff must happen. I have to spend some time away from others, alone with God. I can’t run around every day yucking it up with the boys. But I must remain intentional in my relationships. I have plans to keep this idea rolling. You probably would benefit from doing the same thing.

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2 responses to “you can’t lead from your office

  • Dennis Whitter

    ‘Excellent reminder to those of us who feel a compunction to “put in the hours at the office”. As pastors, we are typically more productive – and happy – when we are with people. Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh, and Go Cardinals!

  • Jimmy Cristantiello

    Good stuff Rick!!!

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