Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Compulsive Investigation

Recently I've been reading through the book of Nehemiah perusing for leadership principles as we head into 2010. I have a laundry list just from the first two chapters. This investigative style of reading the bible does not let itself to expedient progress through the book, but this change of pace has been both healthy and insightful for my journey. 

Today, I was surprised by this insight as I researched Nehemiah's life..."Great leaders have a compulsion to investigate and mine for truth."  Truth about God, truth about life, truth about themselves, truth about their organizations, and truth about their current reality. 

3 Times we see this play out in the first two chapters of Nehemiah: 
1.2, "Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem."
2.13, "By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the DUng Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, whcih had been broekn down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire." 
2.15, "so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall." 

Nehemiah intentionally investigates the situation to gain a greater understanding of how he will carry out the vision God has placed in his heart. I can just imagine Nehemiah with his Moleskin bought from Babylon and Nobles with his pilot 2.0 pen in hand while he intensely takes notes to gain a better understanding of the situation the Israelites found themselves in. He was not to quick to draw his judgement and plan of action. He first investigated. He first made sure he had a firm foundation when it came to his understanding of that which needed to be changed. 

Leaders must learn to be investigators. Often times we operate with inaccurate information about ourselves, our families, and our churches. Many leaders have blatant blind spots which could be creating their demise! If we dealt more honestly we would be able to make wiser plans and strategies which would lead to greater levels of fruitfulness in our lives and our organizations. We've all noticed that leaders are typically the ones with most opinions and ideas.  This character trait lends itself to a underdeveloped skill of listening. Those leaders with courage and confidence who compliment the former with humility and a willingness to listen are much more effective as they begin to implement the vision God has placed on their hearts. 

Here are some questions I wrote in my journal after this insight: 
1. What in my life prevents me from seeing reality in my marriage, my relationship with my son or in my leadership of South Bay Church?
2. What can I do to create a culture of leadership that allows people to speak up and call a foul without being punished or mistreated for their honesty? 
3. What blind spots do I have in my life or leadership? How am I engaging our team to help me clearly see these spots? 
4- What in my life prevents people from being direct, straightforward and honest with me? 
5- To what degree am I being honest with myself about sin in my life? Am I tuning my ear to the Spirit's prompting and responding when I am convicted? 

I want to grow in my ability to investigate and discover the reality in my life. I want to be all that God has created me to be, I want my family to become all that God has created us to be, and I want our church to see all that God has in store for us. How will ever reach the "what if?" of God's vision if I don't understand the "what is?" of my current reality.