MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

don’t forget about LOVE

a good friend of mine tells a story of a time when he was on staff at a mega church on the west coast.  They were having a strategic planning meeting and the pastor in charge posed the question, “what are the essential qualities of a leader?” Many things were said and were being written on the board.  Good things I’m sure, like strategic, bold, charismatic, wise, and above-reproach

my friend was dozing off when the pastor called on him and asked “JOHNDOE, What about you?  What do you think?”  Flustered yet sincere, my friend answered with “umm… loving?” to which the rest of the staff began to chuckle.  His answer of “loving” was reluctantly written on the board but it might as well have been written off completely.  Not quite the strategic answer the staff was looking for.

since when was “LOVING” a quality to be scoffed at?  if we’re honest, our leadership priorities have become mixed-up in a lot of our organizations and sadly, in our churches.  with the economy being the way that it is, if we’re not careful we can start running our shelters of compassion like financial institutions, solely concerned about numbers and strategically boosting the offering count.

i’ve been to many conferences with incredible leaders who have amazing, interesting and challenging things to say.  not really knocking on them at all.  however, there is a dying breed of leader who preaches on the importance and centrality of love.  perhaps love is too whimsical a concept, a subject we graduate from once we become “adults”?  perhaps love is too broad a term and impossible to live out?

i’m noticing that these days everyone is trying to be innovative, creative, revolutionary, fresh, and justice-oriented.  once again, not bad things at all and  in fact, i would say these are pretty essential attributes.  however, we need to remember in our core being, we were given a pretty strong “leadership mandate” to be loving (towards God and others).

the word “love” is scoffed at because there is nothing practical about love.  sure, we can perform acts of kindness and compassion but LOVE in its very nature is impractical, uncomfortable, difficult, painful and too… idealistic.

one day, we’re gonna hold a conference, and it will be all about love.  no apologies will be made for holding love in the highest esteem when it comes to leadership style, direction and strategy.

hope you’ll join me in revisiting the priority to love, unpack love, and most importantly live out extravagant and impractical love in a real and “practical” world.  how’s that for innovation, creativity, and revolution?

(side note: i am the first to admit that i absolutely SUCK at loving.  my constant hope and dream is that i can be the kind of person i blog about…)

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8 responses

  1. great post. Ive only been in the game a few years full time, but I think we reach a point in ministry as a job where we see past love and just strive to be as ultra effective as possible. isn’t that the worst. maybe we feel like, “love? well, duh…. thats what drives me.” I share your prayer; to be that guy… known for loving others, whos #1 leadership quality is – “that guy freakn loves people.”

    because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you love someone, what matters is how much THEY feel loved.

    sweet post

    August 5, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  2. kat

    lead by example, DK! great post! they will know us by our Love!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

  3. Good reminder! If love wasn’t the central most important theme, there would be no Pop Musical Genre and life would be bland. On a more serious note, it’s the most difficult trait or characteristic to master yet the one that keeps our souls alive. Keep it up DK. Thanks for sharing!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

  4. DK

    @justice – so awesome that you stopped by. love your thoughts, too! i hope the day we pass on, we both have tombstones that read “this guy freakin loved people”

    @kat – thanks for the encouragement!

    @matt – love is the best songwriting subject in history, hands down. i’m with you, brotha!

    August 5, 2009 at 11:58 pm

  5. Dave Brubaker

    Dude that JOHNDOE guy sounds awesome. Too bad he was dozing off though, obviously the right answer would have been VISIONARY.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:52 am

  6. DK

    @bru – JOHNDOE is an awesome guy. the rejection of his answer is the church equivalent of kicking Michael Jordan off the high school team because of his height. it really happened, and it was THEIR loss!

    August 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm

  7. ERuss

    Love this post, DK. Was reading Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, and he challenges the reader to Read I Corinthians 13 – the love chapter – by replacing the word LOVE with their name – “Russ is patient and kind, Russ is not jealous..” and so forth. Francis then states “Now don’t you feel like a liar.”

    I, too, suck at loving – but confession is a good first step towards change.

    Oh Jesus – teach us how to love!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm

  8. DK

    hey russ, as always I really enjoyed your comment. hope we get better at this!

    August 23, 2009 at 11:21 pm

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