Get In or Get Out of the Way?

The call to leadership is a distinguished one; this privilege is never to be taken for granted.  The purpose here, though, is not to debate how great the call of leadership is but to pose one simple, yet eye-opening question to leaders around the world today.  Where you are leading is not nearly as important as to how you are leading.  So, whether you are called as a leader at home within your family, a corporation, the nation, a school, your friendships, your church, etc., this question still begs direct application to you: Should you get in the way, or should you get out of the way? 

Let’s address the first aspect of the question:  Should you get in the way?  By definition, the heartbeat of this question is directly centered upon two aspects of leadership, one being a combination of discernment and protection concerning those you lead, and the second being a combination of instinct and fearlessness necessary during pivotal moments. 

Getting in the way initially is involves a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit for God’s will for each person you lead.  Our responsibility is to dive into God’s Word and seek His face for each person who He has entrusted under our wings.  All too often, we fail to realize that we are deliberately positioned to serve as a hedge of spiritual, emotional, physical, mental and social protection.  This should urge us to foster an environment conducive for growth directly according to His will.  Only then will they be able to walk out His unique purpose.  Here, leaders battle with questions, such as:  Should I address what the Lord has revealed to me? Will I cross boundaries of free thinking?  How will people react if I ask them to not do something or participate in something, because I sense danger or a snare that the enemy longs to throw out?  Will it make a difference? 

While these questions loom in our hearts and minds, a more pressing question arises.  As a leader, what is the consequence if I don’t get in the way?  Will it cost me a life, marriage, family, business or a soul?  Can I afford to keep quiet when I sense the onslaught?  With this potential negative reality looming, the answer becomes crystal clear:  Get in the way.  Stand Up.  Stand out.  Set procedures in place that will prevent your team from falling into the enemy’s trap.  Fight for balance, purity and the preservation of marriage.  Invite others, even if you think they won’t come.  Challenge, even if they act like they don’t like you.  Encourage and speak the truth in love, even if someone shuts you out. 

Leaders, you have the answer!  Jesus is your heartbeat, so how could you not offer your heart to them in vulnerability, boldness and transparency?  Sometimes, people are desperately longing for their leaders to tell them, “Don’t go.  Don’t do that.”  Many times, people are grappling with difficult decisions and temptations.  Your sensitivity to speak a few-word statement could call them back to a safe place of the abundant life.  Each moment matters, so get up close.  Get in the way.  Block for them.  They may not have the strength at the moment to do so for themselves or understand how to do so, even if they so desired.  We are responsible to set the pace and teach them.  Each person may react differently, but ultimately, we must trust that the Lord will accomplish His will, as we step out in obedience. 

The second facet of should you get in the way, involves the combination of instinct and fearlessness.  This portion of leadership requires consistent humility and prostration before the Lord to receive the confidence of His calling.  Therefore, when the situation calls for it, you, as a leader, will consider stepping in, taking over, reorganizing, setting higher standards, etc. as right within your comfort zone, regardless of any fears you face.  You will carry the vision and the boldness to not allow negative, time-wasting processes to consume you any longer.  Go for it.  In this instance, it is the very thing that is needed, but everyone is afraid to ask for it, or they don’t know where to begin.  Be catalytic.  Being the frontrunner requires carrying the vision and the focus to accomplish it.  This may seem lonely at first, but if you speak up at each impasse, eventually, the tide will turn.  It will breed improvement and trust.  Your team will sense that you are always fighting for their ultimate success and blessing.  You also will find yourself more and more at home when thinking outside of the box.

Next, let’s address the second aspect of the question: Should you get out of the way?
Understanding the context of this question involves asking ourselves the dreaded and difficult question:  Are we the problem?  God’s leadership call does not necessarily preclude us from getting in our own way.  We must assess whether or not we are the limiting factor to our team’s success.  We may have the calling, giftedness and energy, but sometimes, we fail to delegate and act with patience.  We fail to trust the very people we have placed around us to get the job done.  Therefore, we take over situations at the wrong times, when these situations would have best been resolved, implemented, changed, etc. without our presence.  A vital feature to leading is to know when to place responsibility upon others and allow them to rise.  When we constantly interfere at every turn, we prolong results, thus prolonging success and alleviation of stressful matters.

So, leaders, here is your challenge.  Look around – where is God pressing on your heart to get in the way to protect and draw order, or where is He cautioning you to step back and watch the answers arise out of those surrounding you?  In this moment, it could be a bit of both.  Finally, remember Joshua 1:9, which states, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Are you a leader? Tell us some of the convictions you face as a leader. If this article has ignited your heart, please contact Shara Vales  at [email protected]

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