We stand at the base of our mountains and stare up at the daunting climb. We can feel the breath-taking vastness of the summit and taste the crisp air of the peak if we close our eyes just long enough. But sometimes doubts and fears creep in when we consider the long journey ahead. No matter what mountain we are given, the climb is a difficult one if we choose to walk it alone. Fellow traveler, let me urge you, do not walk alone.
In leadership it can feel like you walk many nights by yourself, but to lead, and lead well, always involves community. Life is not meant to be lived unaccompanied. We know this in our head but we do not always hold this in our heart. Serving in leadership, whether you’re called the “teacher”, the “minister”, the “volunteer” or the “pastor” can often feel like you’re standing by yourself. When your hands are empty after begging for volunteers, when your emails receive no reply, when your prayers seem to be returning void…it can feel like you’re alone.
Brothers and sisters, let me urge you, feel not alone; be not alone. Be comforted that Christ never leaves you and be then compelled to find close, tangible, encouraging community around you. God’s word shows us this. Think of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.”
In my summers with CentriKid, I’ve come to know the great value of community. The sense of belonging and purpose that comes with being on a camp team is unmatched, but that can leave one feeling out of sorts when the camp season expires. In reflection on my time as a camp director, I can see times where my leadership was grown and my capabilities were tested. The community that surrounded me always made the difference. Thinking on this and looking at my life in the day-to-day, here is what I’ve found for practical leadership tips in this journey:
Inside your church
You need a flock of similar experience and beliefs who can understand your needs, desires, and utmost prayers.
Outside your church
You need folks of similar environment who can understand daily struggles and lend a simple, caring hand in the everyday.
You need the few who can sit beside you when there is no understanding to be found. There needs to be unquestioned reliability, vulnerability, and trust here.
Reach out to find men and women in these areas of your life to be your people. Community is built upon the common ground of trust. Rest in and trust that your sojourners will support you no matter the valley or the peak. The people you find at your side have faced their own mountains and have much to teach you as you journey together. As “the leader” you don’t need to shoulder the weight of your mountain climb alone. Remember that even our Lord didn’t walk solo. You need to rely on and rest in the comfort of community.
Remember that the Father marked your path, the Spirit walks with you, and the Savior has already conquered this mountain. Walk in community with those who remind you of this. They will be Jesus to you in the valleys.