Saturday, September 22, 2012

Leaders don't mind showing weakness

Nick Clegg's apology has proved very entertaining but it's also just very welcome.

When did we start to think our leaders had to be spotless? Christian leaders are meant to be blameless but it seems to me blamelessness is more like transparency, honesty about mistakes than it is about never making mistakes. The old leadership adage is true that real leaders are mistake makers. They're people to take a chance, who take responsibility, who put themselves on the line, who step ahead and take the route where there are "no well worn paths."
Clegg's claim was bigger than he could really ever keep - but then he probably didn't actually plan on being part of a coalition government either.

These are days for leaders - people who'll step up. David rallied his troops saying "whoever makes the first kill gets to be commander in chief". These are whoever days. But these are not days for bravado and masks of confidence, but for weak people to say - I'm weak but in Christ let's go. Leaders who project strength inspire for a season but in the end seem distant and intimidating and make us think they're hiding something. After a while Tony Blair's smile got tiresome.

Leaders need to be capable and competent, but also like us. Christian leaders need to be people who need Christ. No one needs a teflon leader, we need those who get their hands dirty serving with us - and yet still show us the way - the way to Christ. And let Christ - the strong one who became weak for us - lead through them.

In the end:
Of Tolstoy's character Rostov it's said that it is "hard for young people to tell the truth" - because people expect glorious stories. So, Rostov tells a heroic story to mask a clumsy and embarrassing true story. In Christianity glory is cross shaped... let us tell of that kind of glory...

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