There are things that look the same on the surface but in reality are as different as night and day. It is to the advantage of a leader (and their organization) to learn to distinguish stuff.
Instead of diving into a deep and possibly complex explanation, let me just share things that are not only distinguishable, but must be done necessarily.
- Suffering vs. Sacrifice
Everybody suffers. Suffering is amoral. But sacrifice is an intentional choice and removes one from being a victim.
In other words, sacrifice is choosing which things I will willingly suffer for the sake of a predetermined and desired goal.
For example, I want to lose 10 pounds this year. I thereby decide to jog daily in the morning, avoid sweets, forbid soft drinks and junk food. For someone like me, that can be considered as suffering. But it’s suffering for and with a purpose.
How to avoid having a victim mentality? Be sacrificial! That way, you take charge of your life and control your own destiny instead of living reactively and passively.
2. Adopt vs. Adapt
No offense to fellow pastors, but many pastors suck at this, especially Filipino pastors (oops! peace : ).
Pinoys have this notion that anything that comes out of the West is divinely inspired, thus adopting everything they hear, read, and see from Western pastors and leaders hook, line, and sinker. That’s adopting!
They fail to contextualize. Andy Stanley warns and advises us at the same time, ‘’Date your models; marry your principles.’’ No two organizations are alike; no two churches are the same; no two leaders have the same gifting. Even churches with the same ‘’vision’’ are not in the same situation, some are so advanced while others are merely starting. Thus the need to adapt.
Know the principle you are applying inside out, then (and maybe more importantly), know your people, your situation, your unique group culture, and adapt.
Don’t be lazy leaders. Don’t just receive and receive, but think, reflect, and pray hard on how to to make a universal principle work in your local setting.
3. Design vs. Default
Craig Groeshel says, ‘’Everybody ends up somewhere, but only a few end up somewhere on purpose.’’
Everybody alive breathes, but not everybody truly lives. Some are merely existing or surviving, and sadly only a few are thriving.
My tagline in my Twitter page (@ptrmans) is ‘’Live the life you want to live!’’ Unfortunately, too many people don’t know what they want in life, and the few who do don’t have the necessary discipline to pay the price to turn their dreams into reality.
I have a ‘’joke’’ that spoofs of a famous evangelistic principle, ‘’God loves you and everybody has a plan for your life!’’ If you don’t live your life, someone else will live it for you. If you don’t have your own dreams and passions, somebody will dream their dreams for you.
Take responsibility for your own life! Lead from the front and not from behind. Know the why behind the what. Don’t fit in, stand out!
Live by design, not by default.
(to be continued)