Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When Sons Become Fathers

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. 

Get back to the basics. 
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.

Treat it seriously
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.

Lead them to Leave
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.

This past week, I encountered an opossum in my backyard. The opossum seemed rather bloated, and my mother made an acute observation. The opossum was pregnant. Like everything we consider alive, it reproduces. Soon, I hope to see little opossum pups running around the yard. (Hopefully not in the house!) In the same way, a church should reproduce and create more churches. In turn, those churches will plant more churches, and ultimately fulfill the Great Commission given by Jesus, that is, to go and make disciples of all people (or ethic) groups (Mat. 28:18-20). The bible study that I lead on Monday nights should not remain a solitary bible study, but rather, should spread across the world. That means that Christian leaders have a specific job: to train your followers to be leaders.

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.


  1. Thank you Colin for being a leader and friend. It seems hard to believe that I only started going to Bible study less 16 weeks ago. God has worked good things in my life through the Bible study. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Fiona, I'm glad that God is working in your life, and that the bible study could be a part of that! :)

  2. What a beautiful finale for this blog, Colin! You do an expert job of reflection here: revisiting some core concepts in your blog writing experience about Christian leadership.

    At first I was thinking I needed to debate the idea that Christian leaders desire to create new leaders. Couldn't it just be that there are some great leaders and some many good followers? But then I thought about all those years I had in Catholic school and I think that the goal was conversion, repetition, practice, example. While I don't hold those beliefs anymore, my understanding of the main principle, coupled with your writing, seems to make sense.

    Christian leaders desire others to reflect their beliefs and spread the word. Not everyone will get to a position of pastor of a congregation, but in everyday actions one can emulate the works of those held in high esteem within their churches. I hope I'm getting that right.

    And in this blog, sir, you do that expertly. Keep exploring your faith and how to be a leader. By sharing your stories with others, you are *leading* by example.

    What a great semester!

    1. You're dead on about the reflection thing! Thank you very much!