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November 7, 2013

Authentic Leadership

Authenticity can be a small group buzz word. Is it complete transparency?  Is it genuineness and sincerity? Here are two actions that I think make us authentic leaders? First, authenticity involves the humble admission of our need for growth. When group members hear their leaders admit their need to grow in specific ways in response to the group study, group members become more likely to admit where they need to grow. Groups members are looking for a leader who does not allow their role as the facilitator to exempt them from sharing their own need to grow. They need to see a leader who is willing to admit their own struggles and need for growth. 

Second, authenticity involves careful confession. It is important and healthy to acknowledge "I do that" or "I don't do that." We call these sins of commission or omission. This isn't arbitrary confession or confession for the sake of confession, but a willingness to let the group know how the Holy Spirit is at work in your life showing up through your group's study and disrupting and helping you recognize specific sin. 

Let me ask which of these statements do you think is more authentic? "I  really need to grow as a husband" or "I really need to grow as a husband who is becoming more sensitive to the ways I can really serve my wife."   One is general and safe - what husband doesn't need to grow as a husband. The second is specific and personal. It admits a specific and personal way I need to grow as a husband. How about confession? You can say something like, "I have to confess that I am not the best husband at times" or "I have to confess that I pass up many opportunities in a given week to serve my wife in small ways and justify it because I pay the bills. The Lord is really showing me some important things about seeing and owning my sin of self-centeredness." Once again the first is general and a safe admission true of every husband, and the second is a personal yet careful confession. It doesn't go into details, but it clearly states in a specific way a recognized sin. It is authentic.     

So as we think about authentic leadership, we need to model for our group humble admission and careful confession. You can raise the authenticity quotient of your group by increasing your own authenticity level. I believe authenticity in a group is more caught than taught. One final word, the greatest act of authenticity is not admission and confession but dependence. As we admit areas where we need to grow in and as we carefully confess sin, we need to show our dependency on the Lord who forgives all our transgressions and transforms our lives. Authenticity is not the end game; it is a means to an end. It takes us to a real specific and personal place to be changed by Christ and used by Christ which is the real win.     

Just want to remind you that if you haven't submitted your Small Group Snapshot, please do so.  This helps us know who is in your group and how we can be praying.  It is also a way for you to communicate needs where you need pastoral support. So please make sure to help us in this way.

Thanks for all you are doing through your group for the sake of Christ.

Tim

Reminders:

Group Leadership Huddles. The first Huddle Groups will meet on Sunday morning, November 17 or November 24. Please make it a priority to attend. You should have received a separate email about these last week.  If you have any questions about which group you are in, what time, which room, or which date your group meets, please contact Donna.