Chad Missildine is Lifegroups/Lifemissions Pastor at LifeChurch.tv Fort Worth. I’ve known and worked with him, I think, four years (correct me, Chad?). He’s a young leader I am watching closely and I’m really excited about what he’s accomplishing and how God is going to use him as a Kingdom leader for years to come.
This morning I read a blog post by Chad on leadership—Leadership is NOT a Title!—that I think is going to become a classic. I know I’ll be pointing people to this post time and again. It is a needed antidote to the kind of careerism I think has crept into too many of our discussions on how to lead.
Rewind: Shortcuts have consequences in nearly every single life situation. People will pop pills and try the latest fad diet to do anything to lose weight only to hurt themselves. Weight loss shortcuts have consequences. Governments often lay a heavy hand in response to situations to try to fix them quickly, only to make situations worse. Government shortcuts have consequences. Corporations skip steps to get products to market as quickly as possible and people die daily because of it. Corporate shortcuts have consequences. Leadership is the same way. Shortcuts result in serious consequences.
Leadership is not a title; it is about gaining influence where you are now. I know a lot of young leaders looking for the next step in life, the next position, the next title. They want to take a shortcut. Leadership shortcuts have consequences too!
There’s a lot being written and talked about (and tweeted) by and to the younger generation about leadership. And, frankly, much of it frightens me. There’s this idea dominating much of the current discussion that leadership dynamics, principles, models, and methods are a separate—and maybe superior—topic of study from concepts of mission and responsibility. There’s an idea afloat that leaders are interchangeable. That leaders can be moved arbitrarily from one kind of organization with one kind of mission to another kind of organization with a completely different mission and, after some reorientation, will quickly succeed.
It’s almost as if leadership is a career in itself.
“What is your passion, sir?”
“Oh, man. It’s crazy. I love leading. I love raising up leaders. I love everything about leadership.”
“What are your goals?”
“My goal is to brand myself as an authority on leadership. I want to write books. Build a scary successful blog. Do conferences. Teach people how to lead.”
This kind of thinking is a fast road to nowhere. No hint of where these “leaders” are going to take their people. Or to what end. No purpose at all, least of all Kingdom purpose.
I love what he says here:
What can you focus on instead of title?
Lots of things. I’ll give you one for now: your character. Who are you really? Who are you becoming inside? Not what can you do, but who are who. Do you do what you say you’ll do and do it with the utmost respect and responsibility? If the answer is no, why should you be entrusted with more? Do you care more about your title than about those closest to you? If the answer is no, your ambition will get you! A friend of mine used to say, “If your ambition ends with you, your ambition will eventually end you!”
With all my heart I believe a true leader knows who he is and where he’s going, and by the example of his life and the power of his words brings others with him.
Chad has a passion for God and heart for the people who share his world. He is learning (from God) who he is. And God is gradually showing him where he’s going. (We heard, just the other day, our Senior Pastor say “If we know who we are, we know what we’re supposed to do.” Isn’t that cool?)
And trust me. People see this and hear Chad’s clear explanation and they want to join in.
But it’s not about leadership as a separate study. It’s about hearing God and doing what he says.
Read the whole thing.