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Change Leadership | Dr. Leighton Ford (Mentoring)

The Leadership Dance

August 12, 2015

Leadership, like life, has its seasons.

And seasons have their moods . . . winter often grayer . . . spring livelier . . . summer flourishing . . . autumn flaming and aging.

So, as leaders, we are called to pursue our calling in the different seasons of our lives, and the varying stages of our ministries.

Sometimes as leaders we feel we are plodding—as if wearing snowshoes and tiredly shifting on a step at a time—trying not to give up.

At other times we sense we are racing—as if skating across a frozen river or down the Rideau Canal—almost out of breath—exhilarated but almost in danger of losing our balance.

Leadership also is affected not only by pace, but by the shifting light of the seasons.

Light it has been said has two opposites: darkness, and heaviness.

Leadership has its dark side. It can also be very heavy, and burdensome.

Yet Jesus promised to his disciples a burden that is “light”—because he shares it with us.

We must shun (like the devil) leadership “lite”—following the latest leadership fashions.

But we should seek (like Jesus!) leadership “light”—leading like, with, and to Jesus.

Years ago I read, in a piece by Vern Eller that the “image of God” can be conceived of as a dance—a dance with God as the lead partner, we the ones who sense his movement and go with his lead.

“Trinitarian” theology helps us to live our lives and practice our leadership shaped not just by the norms of our cultures or the shape of our personalities or the demands of our institutional seasons, but in the rhythm of the Triune God—whose timing is unpredictable, but never too early or too late, always “just in time.”

So as disciples, leaders in our families and churches and society, may we listen and join in to the Voice that calls – “May I have this dance”!

Leighton Ford
Charlotte, North Carolina

Foreword to book by Sharon Tam

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