One of the biggest things God spoke to me about on my sabbatical was to focus less on being a leader and more on being like a father. We live in a world which has a huge focus on leaders and leadership, with a wealth of books, conferences, seminars, coaches and all manner of other tools to help us to be better leaders. All of that is vital. Anyone who has read Jim Collins brilliant book "Good to Great", and read his description of level 5 leaders who lead with both humility and a steely determination to do what is right should be left with no doubt that leadership is vital. Just look at any successful football club, church, company, charity, hospital, town or nation and at the centre of that success I can guarantee you will find outstanding leaders. Leadership matters.
On my sabbatical I had the privilege of observing two outstanding church leaders, Bill Hybels and Bill Johnson. Both of them lead hugely successful and influential churches, which in different ways are having enormous impact around the world. However, what I found inspiring about both of them was not so much their leadership, but their father heart for the people they were leading. Listening to both of them you couldn't help but feel their love for the people their people, their desire for the best for them, their excitement in celebrating their successes, their compassion for them in their darkest moments, and their willingness to speak the truth in love even if it wasn't going to make them popular. Yes they have great strategies, huge vision and have built great teams, but there is something about their leadership which goes beyond that, something which I can best describe as being like a father to the people they are leading.
Another person who models that sort of leadership is Gordon MacDonald. He and his wife Gail have been with us a number of times, and every time they've come it's felt like being with a Mum and Dad who love you, and who have no agenda other than to want God's best for you. Gordon is going to be with us again on Saturday 13th February, doing a one day conference called "Talk Like a Father". I'd really encourage us all to put that date in our diaries and to be there if we possibly can. Whether you feel like you need a Father in your life, or you want to learn how to look more like a Mother or Father to the world around us it will do you good!
You can get more details on the day and book in here. If you're part of Kerith and registered on our myKerith database then you should have had an email last week with a discount code which will get you in for £17.50 - just enter that code in the box for promotional codes on the booking website and you'll get our special rate. If you missed the email then you can log in to myKerith and look for group messages which you can find on the home page. If you're not on myKerith then you can either register, or get the code from our reception.
Hope to see you there,