In Between Sundays

Lone Ranger Leadership Part 2

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“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” - 1 Corinthians 12:12

This text speaks into one of our core values at Fellowship Bible Church; the value is TEAM – “We, is better than me.”  We truly believe this!  That, God uses people who have surrender their lives, talents, skills, and are willing to serve in mutual submission to one another and King Jesus.  God’s design for the church was never intended to be a lone-ranger-led institution.  And yet, it requires leadership at every level.

At Fellowship, we’re smack dab in the middle of preparing to go (grow) to two worship services; February 25th is our day.  Much time has been spent in preparing for this transition.  As leaders, we’ve prayed.  We’ve sought God’s answer in scripture (see Joshua 4).  We’ve consulted.  We’ve prayed more.  We’ve listened to where God is leading the church.  And in this lab of life called “Leadership 101”, here’s what I’m learning. 

Here are four symptoms of a Lone Ranger Leadership style:

  • The “know-it-all” - no one knows everything about everything. (Except that one guy I sat across from on the train to Philadelphia); it usually manifests itself in argumentative fashion.
  • “I’m never weak” - admitting a weakness is actually a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective.
  • The big ego - As a leader, it is prideful for us to attempt to do everything. Upgrade performance and set aside pride by playing to strengths and delegating weaknesses.
  • “No one can do it as good as me.” This approach will kill you.  Left untended, you’ll soon look like a circus act with 14 spinning plates on long sticks.  The crash is inevitable!

Peeling off the Lone Ranger mask and getting to the truth of who we are as leaders is essential.  Like it or not, leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. Including the risk of being wrong.

Confession:  Team Fellowship, I need you – your wisdom, your prayers, your counsel, and you to hold me accountable.  And Team Fellowship – we need the power of Jesus to keep us connected to Him and one another. 

Posted by Ted Burden with

Lone Ranger Leadership

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I just bought a new Bible. My other one, well, the cover was falling off and even though I dearly love that Bible it seemed like the right time to get a new one.  There are two words in my new Bible that bless my heart.  Now, you might be thinking “Holy Bible”, or “Jesus said…”  Nope.  The two words that bless my heart are “Giant Print.”  Yeah, I know, I just dated myself.

Which brings me to my next point.  When I was a kid we had a black and white television.  In fact, most young people don’t know, but colors didn’t even exist until the late sixties when the Beatles released their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album.  That right, all life was lived in black and white.  It’s true.

Our family had a black and white television and on Saturday mornings my brother and I would sit in our pajamas on the living room floor eating Cheerios and watching cartoons and westerns.  My favorite western was THE LONE RANGER.  The reason I liked that show so much was because, yeah okay, the Lone Ranger was awesome, and his faithful sidekick was _______.  (If you don’t know the answer to this, then you can skip this article, pick up your little iPhone and check your “likes” on Instagram.  But, if you know the answer . . . read on!)

Long before Batman and Robin, these two were the original dynamite duo!  Plus, the Lone Ranger had some serious swag – he wore a mask, wore a crisp, white outfit, including a white hat, a silver pistol that only shot silver bullets.  In every episode, the Lone Ranger would solve the mystery, and at the end of the show, while atop his horse he would shout, “Hi Ho, Silver . . . away!” and ride off into the sunset.  I always thought the Lone Ranger was awesome.

Truth be told, I think there have been times in ministry when I’ve tried to be that guy.  (Well, everything but the mask part.)  I imagined myself riding into countless situations thinking “I’m going to be the hero”, “I don’t need a team, all I need is admirers”, “Leave me alone, I only work solo.”  What I discovered was that “Lone Ranger Ministry” never works.  Its fatal flaw is that God didn’t design us, or the church to work that way (See 1 Cor. 12).  And, here’s the bigger truth. You ready?  You can’t operate with a Lone Ranger leadership style and really be a spiritual leader.  Why?  It’s not Biblical.

So, stay tuned next week for Part 2, “Lone Ranger Leadership.”  It will be in black and white. 

Posted by Ted Burden with

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