I heard a great quote from Keith Craft today. He said, “Leaders refuse to be offended.” This is a life altering perspective for me and I think it’s a valuable one. The reality of leadership is that you have a lot of tough decisions to make and not everybody is going to #1: Like those decisions and #2: Get all that they “need” as a result of your decisions and #3: Respond correctly to not liking the decisions.
I’ve watched in my life as leaders have taken things so personally and become so offended that they become irrelevant to ministry. One of two things happen…either they become unable to make decisions or they make decisions based on not wanting to offend someone. Either way leads to an unhealthy organization.
Thankfully Mark and I have had rare times to be offended in the last three years, but we have held to this value of not getting offended tightly. We try to choose to believe the best in people and believe that we are all on the same team. We choose to let offenses go as quickly as possible and apologize for offenses that we are aware that we may have created. We also know that we might not be able to please everyone. We will sure work on it, but the reality is that the church was never intended to be everything to anyone. It was intended to be a community of believers who grew each other by being together, not by developing all of the right programs with which to exist in or by saying the right things all of the time.
Offenses kill relationship and spiritual growth. It is my goal to fight against being offended in my own heart for the rest of my life. So, who are you offended by right now? What do you have to do to let that go? I challenge you to begin to speak correctly over that situation. Allow God to heal that area of your heart and keep you from building up new walls against people. You are a leader! It’s imperative that you don’t hold onto offenses!