I have been thinking a lot lately about the kind of leader I am becoming and the kind of leader I hope to be. Over the next several weeks (and as additional things surface over time) I will post particular challenges I am facing in this space and invite your input as a way to be challenged and stretched to grow.
Here is my challenge for the week:
I do not always answer the question I am being asked. I have a tendency to make things more complicated for myself by, instead, trying to answer what I perceive to be the question behind the question. For example: At the pastor's conference I attended this week there were several occasions where I was asked, "What style of worship will you have at Graceway?" This question bugs me anyway (that's another blog), but people want to know. The assumption that I often make, however, is that people (particularly other Lutheran pastors) are asking because they are passing judgement. The result, then, is often me stumbling through some kind of unintelligible description using every 10 cent word I can think of to make it sound like, despite the fact that we will not be using any of the liturgical settings or much of the music found in the Lutheran Hymnals that I am not somehow "dumbing-down" worship and that, yes, our worship will be "Lutheran." Truthfully, that may sometimes be the motivation behind the question, but then again maybe it isn't always. Maybe the way I answer has more to do with my need/desire to be accepted/respected by my colleagues and my peers. Would it not be better for me to ask the question that I have been asked and then if the "real" question is something else leave it up to the one asking to actually ask it?
Would love your thoughts, insight, stories, etc.