Last night I listened to a panel discussion by Tim Keller, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, and Crawford Loritts from the 2008 Gospel Coalition conference. I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to enjoy panel discussions more than I ever thought possible. There’s something about the discussion and conversation aspect that draws out some really good substance.
Anyway, at one point, the discussion headed down the path of being alone when one is in leadership. This really stood out to me because it is so true. What was being stated was that there are times that the very nature of leadership applies aloneness because one is leading. And that can be a very lonely experience.
Finally! Someone said what I have often felt! It was actually freeing, in many ways. I’m not the only one who feels that way and it’s okay to feel that way. Obviously we are not TRULY alone because we have the Lord with us, but it can often be emotionally taxing to know that people who pat you on the back and pay lip service also are quick to talk about you behind your back. You basically learn that you are only going to have a few close friends and you had better make sure your spouse is one of them!
But here’s the catch. Even though it is lonely and you are often quite aware of how alone leadership is, there is joy! Joy, joy, unspeakable joy! For remember,
“O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!” (Ps. 84:12)
Is it lonely in Christian leadership? Yes, there are times you will feel like you are the only person in the world doing what you do. You will come to know that people talk about you all the time and give you far less grace and charity than they would ever give another human being. But there is joy, joy, unspeakable joy when you trust in the Lord! The person who trusts in the Lord is blessed!
I am so thankful for the gospel. The cross of Christ, my friend, has made the aloneness of leadership a celebration!
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.