Church Innovations’ Partners Post

March 10, 2010

Extremism, Lead Time, and Gifts

Is it my imagination or do people’s reactions these days tend to go to extremes? Do we label people as extremists too readily? Do we generalize too quickly? Why is this happening?


When there is pain and anxiety in the system, and especially a perceived lack of time, we often get reaction, reactionary-ism, even. I don’t know what systems you are a part of, but I am in several who are feeling pain and anxiety, and who seem to be under time pressure. So it is no wonder that I feel reactive and see that reactionary-ism embodied in some of the folks around me. What I’m interested in is this: who’s NOT being reactive? Who seems to be being PROACTIVE, thinking AHEAD OF THE CURVE? Finding that sort of person and learning from that sort of person is what I want to do.


Leadership is in large part about LEAD TIME.


As Christians, we have all the time in the world. Eternal life. Our Triune God created mountains and rivers and oceans and planets, for heaven’s sake.  There is time for everything. And each of us is endowed by that same Creator with certain particular gifts, to be used for the good of the neighbor.


Leadership is also about knowing your place; that is, knowing what gifts you have that are called for to free others into the relationship we share with God. If my gift is creative engineering, for example, how am I to listen, learn where that gift is called for, and use it for the benefit of others’ relationship with God?


Just thinking about that, I feel less anxious and reactive. I feel more purposeful. I am surely more alert and even, possibly, slightly less bothered by extremism.

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