But why are C://21 Leaders like that?
In the previous blog, I discussed the young leaders and the issues of teachability, the trophies of mediocrity doted upon this generation for decades, and the over aggrandizement of themselves. I’d like to explore why…. a bit more….
Funny, how young leaders demand that you be authentic – which I agree and support that they are not bound up in some image and marketed public identity, but that they want the real, raw person to lead them. In this posture, they also tend to have no problem whatsoever assailing their mentor and leader when he/she has a foible, simultaneously demanding to know and walk with that real person – yet find it aghast that they would be mentored and forged into more maturity. I’ve discussed that….
But why? Why are they like this?
Not too surprising for anyone reading this, we’ve become a culture centered on “ME”. This sounds old, but stop and think how the water we swim in taints and colors us – our culture so defines even our theology. Example: ALMOST every referral to who we are to be, how we are to live, how we relate to God is plural and in a plural understanding. The idea of “inviting Christ into MY heart”, the individual understanding of being a follower of Christ is solely a western idea and concept, and why it is so hard for us to understand the New Testament regular phenomena of “whole household was saved”. Our culture shapes even how we understand following Christ and everything else.
In this culture of self consumption, life is viewed through a lens of self importance, self worship and an attitude of “I deserve”… Some of the traits that make leaders wrestle with being mentored and forged are:
1. Yes, it’s all about me
2. Multiple choice options are a presupposed reality – even after committing to something or some one, there is a “right” to reserve the option for something better that comes along
3. We always look ahead to something better because the greener grass isn’t and eutopia isn’t, and we are conditioned by the media to long for some perfect “live happily ever after”.
4. We’ve never had to live with consequences; we’ve put it off, been graced, or spoiled…. [Look at the nightmare with no way out of a federal deficit… you, if you are 20, will die and the US will be way in debt, if the republic survives – I’m beginning to wonder]
5. We’re dogmatic and confuse dogmatism with maturity and zealous piety. We don’t listen, accept, understand, or tolerate others… nor do we think well
6. Behold in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves, selfish…
So, while sounding dower, I in no way want to propose hopelessness… what I propose rather is courage. Failure to lead is all summed up in one phrase, a failure of courage. It takes courage to confront, to wrestle, to press in, to exhort, rebuke, allow them to be mad, walk away (for a bit), not like us at the moment, etc. It takes guts to say hard things to people. Yet, that is leadership. What do I do? Well, at times a lot of people are upset at me. BUT, it’s always done carefully and gracefully, allowing them to be mad – like good parenting, the long run is the perspective, not right now. If they don’t come back – that is not my fault – they chose to not be teachable. I accept their refusal to accept it – I don’t respect it, but I accept it.
To young leaders – it’s your choice when being mentored. You wanted a mentor, so why bitch when they do so. Forging mature leaders is hard work, on your part and your leader’s part. So, next time you get upset, rather than getting upset at him/her, ask why you are upset. What is the deep little wound that just got poked that makes you feel inferior and insecure? Ask why this mentor is forging you? Do they not believe in you? So, shut up, look down humbly and “hear under” – allow the hand of the Lord to mature you.
Our boomer culture made some mistakes in approaching life – they through out anything old. To be honest, it began in the industrial age when we went from apprenticing leaders to “schools”. Artisans still know it best – that proper, intentional apprenticing is the best way to forge and reproduce one’s self. God’s forging of leaders has always been life on life – so, rather may we press into it rather than run from it.