To be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. In other words, if you are not following Jesus, you should not expect people to follow you.
Leadership is about leading the people that God has given you and taking them on the journey that God is taking you. You cannot lead someone if you do not know where you are going. It does not make sense to say that you are a leader and gather followers so that you can stay in the same place and maintain what you have always done.
Playing it safe is foolish. Think about it like this. Your church is on life support and you are afraid to unplug the machine because the church might actually breathe on it’s own. Leadership involves making decisions and standing by those decisions whether good or bad.
Risk means getting out of the comfort zone. The comfort zone is safe, routine, and predictable. The comfort zone is not where change happens. The comfort zone is where creativity, imagination, and innovation die.
There is this tension that occurs when change needs to happen. On one side, the comfort zone screams in fear and offers a wall of resistance and gathers support for its cause. It is afraid that you are going to pack up and leave. Yes. Leave. Leave the comfort zone behind.
If you do not want to manage risk, if you like routine and embrace playing it safe – you are not a leader.
The comfort zone must be abandoned at all costs.
It’s not easy.
A real leader will be stretched – sometimes to their limit. This is sometimes painful and oftentimes uncomfortable. However, your other choice is to remain the same and never move another step. Inside the comfort zone, you can pretend you are moving but you are actually walking on a treadmill.
If you are not willing to be uncomfortable, you will not grow.
Isn’t that what we are after?
We want to grow and mature as leaders. We want our platforms and influence to grow. We want our churches to grow, numerically and spiritually. We want to train men to be better husbands and fathers. We want to train men and their families to be missionaries to their cities and church planters. We want to be examples of how the gospel shapes how we steward our marriage and parent our kids and manage our home and finances. We want to show how the gospel affects every area of our life.
That is sometimes messy. Messy is good. Messy means that people are being stretched, learning and growing.
This is called discipleship.
Discipleship does not happen in the comfort zone.