Yesterday I had a Leadership Adventure teleconference, an interview with Larry Matthews, coordinator of the Leadership in Ministry workshops. For 32 years, Larry was pastor of the Vienna Baptist Church in Vienna, Virginia, so he knows something about lasting in ministry.
A couple of quotes from the interview stood out for me. I asked Larry the question of the day, “Is lasting leadership possible?” He reminded everyone that leadership is always a relationship between two parties, and that there are no guaranteed outcomes. He said, “I can only function in a way that lasting leadership is possible.” He highlighted that an essential (and challenging) element of that functioning is releasing outcome.
He also talked about the critical importance of dealing with the inevitable resistance. He said, “We expect ministry without resistance.” Larry taught with Edwin Friedman for years, and often speaks about Friedman’s notion that “the key to the kingdom” for leaders is dealing with resistance. We so often get frustrated and reactive when resistance kicks in, without recognizing that it is part of the picture for all leaders.
To read Larry’s article, “The Key to the Kingdom” in the Leadership in Ministry newsletter, click here to go to the Leadership in Ministry website and then click on “newsletter” to find the Winter 2009 issue. It’s a brief and thoughtful article that will help you think about the most important thing you bring to your ministry: yourself.