I'm a very relational person. I tend to see things in relationship with other things, same with people. I just want people to get along, to play nice and to feel included. This used to mean that I would flee conflict, but it doesn't anymore. Now I see that conflict is needed sometimes, but I strive and long for an appropriate conflict.
A conflict that doesn't decimate the other person and leave them in a shattered pile of crap on the floor. A conflict that is kind and uplifting and not destructive.
I seem to have spent such a large amount of energy working through my avoidance of conflict that I neglected to see the flip side.
I lead outreach at my church. What that looks like this year and for the near future is Washington Project. Every Sunday, serving in some tangible way the city of Cincinnati. Before this past weekend I believed that I was one of three leaders that executed this outreach every week. I wanted us all to be on equal ground, no one more important then the next. But a conversation with Michelle changed that. Because we're all leading outreach, Michelle, Mark and I. But I am the leader. It's me. I am the one that should be taking the reigns and ensuring the vision and mission is developed and communicated effectively. There has to be a clear leader, and I haven't been very clear
This isn't to say that Mark and Michelle are integral parts of the leadership team, or that I could do this without them...because I couldn't. But I have hindered our team by not embracing my role as the leader.
I didn't want to seem like I was bossy, I didn't want to seem like I was controlling. I wanted Michelle and Mark to feel important and needed. But I haven't been clear.
My natural tendency towards relationship is a good thing. But there can be too much of a good thing. There is a place for relationship in leading, but it should not come at the expense of the overall mission and vision of ministry.
One of the things I love the most about leading is how much I'm learning. Not only about leading, but about my God who uses imperfect people to execute His perfect plan.