Desiring to Lead


One of the craziest things that I’ve desired in life is to be a leader. Years ago when I became a christian, I wanted to be part of something. I joined the youth group and before long I wanted to lead stuff in the youth. Then I wanted to lead the music so I got in the choir to work my way up. After that I wanted to preach so I booked some speaking arrangements because I wanted to be heard. Throughout all the journeys I would learn something very valuable along the way. The more opportunity I received to lead, the more I realized I didn’t want to lead anymore.

I messed a lot of things up as I tried to find my place in the church. I was too legalistic as a youth leader trying to tell them what music to listen to and who not to hang around with at school. As a song leader I thought I was doing the right thing taking a traditional church and making the singing more contemporary before they were ready for the change. As a speaker I thought I knew everything there was to know till I walked off stage and was presented with differing thoughts only to engage in heated debates behind the baptistery.

I wanted to be a leader which was a good thing. But I wanted it for all the wrong reasons. I wanted acclaim and popularity. I wanted to be a household name. I wanted to be thought of as smart and intellectual.

As I read 1Timothy 3 I found the qualifications of those who desire to be in leadership. On the outside I pretending to be all those things but on the inside I was selfish and only desire the things that would make me successful.

Last night I had a meeting with my worship team. We went through five things to measure where we were at in our ministry; passion, calling, discipline, integrity, servants. As we talked I realized I do desire leadership, but now for the right reasons.

Deep down inside I really don’t like being a leader. It hurts to tell someone by the guidelines laid out that they could be doing better. It hurts to be told your leadership could be better. It hurts to hear someone say your ministry is lacking in areas and could be better.

Although I like to know where we could better ourselves, it still hurts to know we have to strive to be better. Being in leadership you are the one to lead others to make those changes. It’s not easy. Sometimes people don’t want to be on board as a team, just like I was when I was younger. To desire leadership is a noble thing, but it’s a hard thing and takes a lot out of you.

Now, I desire leadership out of service because its my calling and passion. Sometimes I don’t desire it because there are hard things you have to do like sit down with your team and discuss where things are failing. Thankfully without the hard stuff the easy stuff wouldn’t be so easy. Without the pain, there would be no pleasure.

I no longer desire to be the leader I wanted to be so I could receive all the glory, honor, and praise. I desire to be a leader so I can serve those that are around me so that God can receive His glory, honor, and praise. Sometimes that means I give up the things I want to see happen and hear words from my ministry that I’m not being a very good leader in certain areas. I have room to grow.

I desire to lead so that I can serve. That is why it’s a noble thing.

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

4 Responses to Desiring to Lead

  1. rinerfamily says:

    Well I have to say out of everyone who has been with you from that point of youth group to now, I have seen the most growth out of all of them. I have to give all the praise to God because that one year that I spent every day praying for you in that journal for your anniversary gift, God heard each one and has answered most of them. You are doing great and I’m more proud of you than anyone that knows you; not to mention, I’m proud to be married to you and raise our son together. .0.

  2. I appreciate your honesty and candor. I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35. It’s not easy to be in leadership, as you expressed. I believe it takes a constant examining of ourselves and our motivations. You are growing in the Lord and He will continue to direct your path. Lead on brother!

    • Kevin Riner says:

      Jacquelyn, thanks for reading and commenting. That was actually one of the scriptures I was thinking about. But I like to leave it open for communication so others can chime in with their thoughts.

      It took me a while to get to the point where I could be honest with my selfishness. I still have a lot of work to do but I’m open and willing to be broken. Thank you for your encouragement.

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