A Big Mistake!

No heroes are made in peace time—only in war. Mark your heroes in tough times. -Sam Chand

I loved this quote by Sam Chand. He is a leadership expert and really knows his stuff. My husband, who is also a great leader, talks about this idea as well but in a little different perspective. Let me share.

Since the inception of Freedom House Church, there have been many lessons that we have learned. One of those lessons involves this very principal and hopefully we now have it down, but we sure didn’t always. “You can’t discover your heroes until you see them in tough times.” For us this means things like observing potential leaders and/or staff  in tough times BEFORE we make a decision to put something weighty into their hands or hire them. I believe some of the greatest heroes ARE those who minister the gospel and you want people who know how to fight beside you; people who don’t give up when things get tough. Eternity is the highest payout there is and you want people who know how to go through some battles without fear or intimidation. Not a novice. You see, stealing souls from hell is not an easy thing; it is hard and sometimes bloody work. You don’t want people retreating but rather running at the enemy.

I can look back and think of many examples when, if we had known this principle, it could have saved us some ground. Times where we hired people we should not have. Why? Because they weren’t good people? Nope, because we had never observed them in a battle. They were people we thought could fight but it had never been tested or proven and when it came time, they were disqualified. One such example I remember is this. I remember another staff member asking me, “Have you ever seen ‘so and so’ HAVE TO use their faith for anything? Do they know how to fight hard?” We just assumed they did because they were gifted or talented in an area. But, knowing how to fight and having a gift are very different things. We have made this mistake with leadership too, giving someone a position before we knew for certain they could withstand the 60 mph winds that ministry often brings. It is easy to lead when it is a bright, sunny day but add in a hurricane or a tornado and people are easily separated out. Those who have been through a tornado before don’t freeze or panic, they know how to react. They know what needs to be done and they know the tornado isn’t going to be raging forever, but it must be faced. You cannot ignore tornadoes.

Now, the inability to withstand storms or not know how to fight in a battle does not disqualify you or me from being used by God. I am not saying that. What I am saying though is that before you try to slay Goliath, you better have had the experience of slaying the lion and the bear under your belt. Just because David was trained to fight did not mean he knew how to until his skills were actually tested. Just being a great person does not qualify us to chase down Goliath. We need those small lessons of history to build us up and give us the courage so when it is time to fight Goliath, we don’t become the casualty. Why do you think God put the lion and the bear in David’s path? God needed to know David could do it too. God uses this principle to qualify us. If we are not faithful in the small things we won’t be faithful in the “big time” things. It is also a faith-builder for us as people too.

There are actually people in our church right now whom we would love to hire on staff or put in a position of leadership but we won’t. Not because they are not extremely talented or gifted individuals. Not because they are not sweet, kind, loving people but because we need to see if they can get their fight on. We need to see if they have scars from proven battle times. The worst thing you can do (trust me) is stick an ill-equipped, well-meaning person on the front lines of a battle. It will not be a win for the team. It will be a defeat. It will also cause others to wonder why “so and so” did not make it. It is not a great morale booster either to see someone bloody, beat up, and being carried off to triage.

If you are a leader reading this, please learn from our mistakes on this one. Watch people, listen to people, investigate people before you put them on the front lines of the battle. If you have never observed them come through a tragedy in their life or have to use their faith to press through a huge obstacle, how do you know they can take the hits when the stakes of eternity are so high? It does not mean they cannot serve in your church, just maybe not in a leadership position and certainly not a staff position. That is for dang sure! Just help them grow and learn until the appropriate time.

I’ll end with this other quote I saw. “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!” NEVER GIVE UP!


~ by pennymaxwell on November 16, 2009.

6 Responses to “A Big Mistake!”

  1. Amen, and Amen!

  2. Love This! This is so true! You don’t want to set up someone in the frontlines to fail. You need to equip them, train them, and guide them sometimes so they can be ready for the frontlines. Thnaks for sharing 🙂

  3. After reading your blog I have a question. How many scars does it take for one to have proven themselves with God? Right now my life is so bad that I feel like screaming, “When? When? When?” Once I have faith that one bad situation will work it (it usually does) then I am thrown into another fire. Right now my family and I are fresh from an eviction. God placed into another home, but by his grace we barely had enough money to move in. Now we are faced with not having the money for next month’s rent. I could tell you the entire story of our financial and marital problems but I won’t. I am just a very depressed mother and wife who is tired of being in the lion’s den. I believe that God loves me and wants better for me, yet I am full of “buts” and doubts. I visited your church once and was amazed by how everyone praised and worshiped and seemed so moved by the God’s presence. As I observed I could only wonder how I could tap into that feeling to show God that I am relying on him. I know he looks down on me and says “She is such a disappointment.” My rope is unraveling from the pressure…again. What does God need to see from me for me to prove that I am ready for a better life? If I knew I would do it. You and your husband glow with a life light. I only wish my family could make it to such a bright place.

  4. Crystal, You are not a disappointment to God. Obviously I do not know you but what I want you to know is that is not how He feels about you. He loves you so much; He gave up His best for you! He did it for you, Crystal!

    I grew up in lots of dysfunction and you are right, I do have a light in my life and in my marriage. It took years of getting the yuck out and letting God have access. If you let Him totally in and you choose to get healthy, you will see that bright place.

    It is painful to pull out the weeds and decide to clean up on the inside but I promise you it is worth fighting for. It is within your grasp! Desire is only part of the equation, now you gotta walk it out and get help. If you call the church office they can recommend a good counselor to help you navigate your life’s issues. It’s a good thing!


  6. So true!

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