It's hard to believe that 16 weeks have past since I started this semester. This has been my second semester at NOVA, and my first time blogging consistently. It's certainly been an interesting experience and the consistency has been, at times, challenging. I had started this semester thinking that while I was not an expert leader, I was fairly experienced. It's funny how you realize how little you know about something by learning more about it. I learned quite a few new aspects of leadership this semester, I've also relearned some essential truths of leadership. I think I'd like to highlight two that really stood out to me this semester that I've written on, and then one truth about leadership that I've been learning these past two weeks. The end goal of Christian leadership is not to lead the people to a goal, it's to lead people to lead.
I'm so glad that for the first few weeks of blogging I did. I examined my motivation, and my vision. Examining my motivation has been a huge factor in my life as a leader this semester. In February, I was forced to examine why I was leading a certain bible study. I had let my pride and insecurity lead the group, and had to reevaluate the reason I was coming to the bible study. Recently, I had been praying for numerical growth for the same bible study, and had to examine my motivation again. Am I praying for growth because I want to be leading more people? Am I praying for growth so that more people can draw closer to God? In the campus bible study, I had to ask myself several times what the vision of the group was, and where we needed to be going. The vision I was given was of a place where Christians from all over the campus can gather and be family to one another. I'm happy to report that it's precisely what we're doing. Motivation and vision are fundamental in leadership. Without regular evaluation, leaders fall into unhealthy and sometimes harmful patterns of leadership.
I'm kinda ashamed to admit it, but I really did not take my leadership role at the campus bible study very seriously for the first few weeks. I was tired, juggling classes, and dealing with other issues. Because of that, the Christian Student Union (CSU) slipped to the wayside. Because of that, we had inconsistent vision, confusion who we were supposed to be, and worse, drove some people away. If a leader is given responsibility, they must commit to it as they are able. I agreed to lead the group, and for as long as I am needed as a leader, I must serve in the capacity that I am able. Leadership is a big responsibility, and I need to treat it as such.
More often than not, most Christian leadership takes place in church. What is this vague entity, the church? I think the best definition I can give is that the church is the community of Christians committed to Christ on mission in the world. In the bible, the church is referred to as a bride (2 Cor. 11:2). The imagery of a bride has a twofold meaning. Firstly, it refers to the total commitment of the church to Jesus, just as an engaged couple are committed to one another. Secondly, I believe it uses this imagery to paint the picture of a living entity. The church in it's truest form is not a building, idea or a specific group of people. Rather, the church is the living active representative of God on the earth. An organism that is constantly on the move. This is important for every church leader to understand. Why? Because the living aspect of the church changes the way that Christians lead.
It’s a bittersweet job, to know that the more that come in, the more will be sent out. This summer, I am going to be saying goodbye to a great number of my friends as they go off to other universities, cities, and seasons of life. My goal is to equip them to be the church wherever they go. Out of this, good news will spread to every campus, town, city, people group, and to the world. The calling of a leader is hardly an easy one, not always a comfortable one, but without question a wonderful and honorable call.