The Art of Coming Under

I want to do what I want to do. Sounds fair. Don’t you know who I am, I’m the leader.

[Pause]

My journey as a leader has taught me many things and one of the tougher lessons was this, ‘It’s not about me.’ As always with any lesson that needs to be learned, very easy to say but harder sometimes to believe.

If we cannot learn to come under authority we probably struggle to be someone in authority. ‘I’m in charge’ is having authority but doesn’t necessarily make you a leader that people will listen to and follow.

From my own personal experience of thinking I can do what I like and still be a great a leader, this lesson is one I definitely learned the hard way. I possibly thought I was untouchable, invincible maybe. God’s grace is amazing that you can have a stinking attitude, make some dubious lifestyle decisions yet He still makes incredible things happen and young peoples lives are changed. However, those ‘things’ are still wrong.

I have spoken before about being called to account for actions, challenged on my attitude and how I was living. Tough, uncomfortable conversations but all a part of the process of learning to come under the authority of others.

Learning to respect those in positions of spiritual authority is difficult. Look for the fruit they produce. Check their heart. They are human after all and will most certainly get it wrong at times but so do we. Yet submission to those in spiritual authority over our lives brings more benefits than concerns. At least it always has for me.

I have benefited from coming under authority more than I have ever felt constrained by it. Coming under has brought me freedom to become who God wanted me to become, with boundaries that afforded me protection I needed when I didn’t even realise I needed it [hope that makes sense].

I have regretted making my own decisions without consultation of others who could have offered wisdom, insight, clarity and better ideas to undoubtedly bring about an end game that would have included less upset with people.

I have discovered that although the vision I have for what I am leading may be amazing, it remains irrelevant if I haven’t considered the bigger vision it is a part of.

Coming under has kept me safe in my leadership. Yes, it brings accountability, but it also brings so much more. Spiritual authority over my life is about leaders praying for me, speaking into my life, encouraging me and being along side me.

Now I have the privilege and responsibility of being one of those who is in a position of spiritual authority. To stand up for them. To pray for them. To assist them. To cover them. To help them see beyond what is just in front and have an eye for the bigger picture they are part of. To help them hear what God is saying for them and their future.

It’s never been about me and it never will be. My heart is to always be positioned right as a Christian leader so that I don’t make any stupid mistakes and disqualify myself from what God has for me to do.

Thank you to those who watched out for me in the past. Without that cover I may not be where I am today, doing what I am doing, with my beautiful family and the incredible people I get to do life with every day.

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