“It’s lonely at the top,” so the saying goes. While that may seem like pure arrogance, those of us who lead know the isolation of being in charge. Part of that seclusion comes from the challenge of loving the difficult. Good leadership is, after all, staring down all that is complex and rigorous. We face head-on obstacles like the financial health of our ministry, creative solving of complicated and persistent problems, and juggling of priorities all while trying to maintain our own spiritual health.
The core of these difficulties comes right down to people. Immediately out of the starting gate, things are more involved with inclusion ministry because of the population we serve. Leaders in our role frequently need to spend time growing in understanding of those with unique abilities and what they require. Accommodations often require a bit more effort and forethought. Managing volunteers is no easy task. Grumpy complaints from every direction can wear us down. And building understanding with those outside of the disability community is particularly frustrating and daunting. As a friend of mine once conveyed, “Ministry would be great, if it wasn’t for the people!”
Yet, we can press on in godly excellence if we spend adequate time in solitude praying around the particular topic of loving the difficult. Rather than letting our anger get the best of us, praying that Jesus would help us to love like He does becomes essential. What, in our own humanity, can we ever really offer to glorify God or help others? We are inadequate, sinful and selfish. But hand-in-hand with the Lord, infused with the Holy Spirit, we can gain wisdom for guiding our teams and those we serve. We develop a thicker skin and the ability to laugh off the annoyances that are a part of every human’s behavior. And we have full access to the discernment of our Heavenly Father in the most complex of situations.
Want to become a better leader today? Love more. I’ll be praying right alongside you and for you.