What Are You In For?
The vision of Bayside Christian College is to nurture and prepare students for a life of responsive discipleship. At the heart of this vision is the nurturing and preparation of leaders; leaders who will engage in the world with passion, confidence and courage as God’s people, in His place, under His rule.
Dan Allender however warns that “if you’re a leader, you’re in the battle of your life” (p.1). Leading, Allender goes onto say, will not only most likely be the most costly thing you will ever do. But also, it will not bring riches or fame or praises in exchange for the great sacrifice made. Interestingly Allender also says, “if you want to love God and others, and if you long to live your life now for the sake of eternity, then there is nothing better than being a leader”.
It is this juxtaposition that I would like students to begin to actively engage with. The problem though, is that many of the leaders that students see including their teachers, pastors as well as the more high profile, public leaders that they watch, rarely show their failures or weaknesses in preference to hiding them. Sadly, the perception is often that good leaders have not or don't fail, and certainly don't have weaknesses.
The truth however is starkly different. Leaders all fail from time to time, and they all have their weaknesses. Furthermore, I think we are all acutely aware of our failures and our weaknesses, so much so often we think it is better to hide them than share them. Sadly, some of us have even lived or worked in cultures that taught us that showing a weakness meant discrimination and ridicule.
Because our goal is to help students learn to lead, one of the key things they need to learn to do is identify and understand and learn from their weaknesses and failures. The ability to do this will enable them to not only lead better in themselves, but also show those whom they lead that they understand what it is, and how it feels to be a person with weaknesses and failures who strives to serve well.
Dan Allendar offers the following piece of advice for those who hide their failures: “Hiding failure prevents leaders from asking for and receiving the grace they most desperately need to live well and lead well” (p.4).