Leaders Lead

Once a week, you will hear from someone on our Protege team. There are eight people in the Protege program this year, all of whom are involved in a different part of our church. Hopefully, hearing from them will give you some idea of how our residency program is helping serve Christ Community.

Here is our sixth post from Jim Tocci:

In a conversation about personal development and leadership with our Protégé team, Aaron Slaten told us that “Leaders lead.” After I laughed, he gave me a deadpan stare and said, “But really … leaders lead.” I nodded my head and considered it.

After some reflection, I realized that I’ve been put in plenty of leadership positions, but I don’t think I’ve ever been much of a leader. Why not? Taking a critical look at the way I’ve functioned and my motivations allowed me to see that throughout my life, two overarching desires have significantly influenced my behavior … comfort and approval.

The combination of those desires has made it easy for me to live in a constant state of self-protection. I tend to avoid emotionally and mentally taxing activities such as hard conversations, difficult decisions, being creative, taking initiative, being intentional, and taking risks. I also tend to avoid doing anything that has the potential to be divisive and could possibly cause me to lose my status as a generally friendly and likeable guy.  

Thankfully, through the Holy Spirit and some amazing people and opportunities that were put into my life, I am slowly changing. As a part of the Protégé team, I have men leading me that remind me of that leaders aren’t people who have it all together, but broken people who don’t have it together at all and realize it. I’m thankful that they have loved me by pushing me to be more than someone who is content to sit back and let other people do all the work while risking nothing. They’ve also given me grace by entrusting an inexperienced and unqualified man like myself to lead a Community Group and our Host Team.

I’m starting to realize that it is actually possible to relinquish my life of comfort for a life dependent on the man who gave up his heavenly comforts to engage with a world that was more draining than we can possibly imagine. I’m beginning to understand that because of Jesus, I have the freedom to lead and be a leader, because it’s not me trying to put myself on a pedestal, but the Lord using me and working through me for his good pleasure. I don’t have to worry that people are questioning my intentions as a leader or that they’re whispering “Who does this guy think he is?”  

I’m a guy who feels called to lead and serve. I’ll probably always be concerned about what people think of me, but daily I’m becoming more convinced that because of Jesus, I have the approval of someone more significant than my Community Group. I’m hoping that you won’t need this blog post to know I’m a leader, but you’ll know it because I’m leading.

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