Hybels is giving lots of examples of tough callings.
The president of World Vision: Was asked once: “What’s the hardest thing about leading World Vision? ‘It’s just having your heart exposed to misery again, and again, and again.'”
A woman who went to Somalia to work with the poorest of the poor.
Jim Mellado: “Was on the fast track of corporate stardom. I met with him one day and said ‘There are lots of churches that will never reach their potential, because they aren’t sure how to lead. What if we started a training organization, and you led it, and we helped train leaders all over the world, especially where no one will go, in the most under resourced areas of the world. And now for 17 years he has showed up every single day, gave up an unbelievable career to accept a tough calling from God, to simply help make churches better.”
“Some of you have been nudged by God to go in a direction of a tough calling. Do you have the courage to do that?”
“Those who came into the sessions today, at every venue all over the world, received a piece of a shattered clay jar (ties in to the illustration from Jeremiah Hybels just gave — not recorded here). Write the date on it. Let this be a reminder that this world is not going to get fixed unless leaders, leaders like us, are available for tough assignments — like Jeremiah was. Some of you have been prompted, but have never had the courage to say yes. We’re going to give you some time to reflect.”
A Few Thoughts
I really appreciated this session. It is easy for people to get the notion that good leaders will always see things going great — if you just learn enough about leadership, things will always go “up and to the right” for you. And people can get the wrong idea that the point of leadership conferences is to reinforce this idea.
So this session was a good reminder that effective leadership doesn’t equate with things always going smooth. Leaders will have tough times. Good leaders will not always see things go well, and leadership is not about finding success as traditionally defined. Some of the best leaders may hardly be known this side of eternity. That’s because true greatness is about character and faithfulness. Recognition and success are secondary, and may not match up perfectly (or even very well) with true greatness in this world. The Christian leader seeks to please the Lord, looking forward to what is to come, and ultimately the “well done” that comes from Christ on the final day.
A good final word from Hybels: “I’ve never known a single leader who regretted accepting a tough calling.”