I can use some advice. I’m really considering stepping down as Emir of the Community. Bottom line is that I’m tired of the constant headache of dealing with every issue/problem, charting our direction and all the battles that ensue. When is enough, enough?

Part of me feels like I’m running out before the “job” is complete. And part of me feels like I’m the best we have to offer to do the job (this is part arrogance and part cold fact). However, the “job” is never done because there is always work to be done (as you surely know). And just as I came in fresh with bold ideas and new direction, there is no reason to assume the next guy won’t do the same thing once the responsibility is thrust upon him.

I don’t know, but I really believe that I can serve better in a subordinate position. I don’t need (or want) to be the chief. What do you think?

Man, I know what you mean. Quietly, the other reason it took me so long to write you back is because I needed someone to encourage me to stick with this leadership thing before I could even BEGIN to talk to you about it. I was feeling beat down and discouraged, The sheer exhaustion of constantly thinking about the ministry, how best to implement things, how best to reach and shepherd people. For that matter, the fatigue of trying to move any group of people from point A to point B, physically or spiritually. You just get tired of the headache, of the constant complaints and criticisms (there’s nothing like waking up to the pile of messages, e-mails, and comments about how you’re wrong and not doing anything right. Or the list of suggestions of things you OUGHT to be doing.)

Then there’s the special grief that comes after you’ve poured yourself into people–served them, discipled them, helped them–only to see them turn on you (or them leaving your community because you’ve somehow betrayed them).

However, let me tell you, it took two things to get me back in the game:

1) the encouragement of a couple of people to remind me to be who I am and keep doing what I’m doing.

2) seeing a couple of victories. Just knowing that you’ve made the difference in a couple of people’s lives, that what you’ve done has mattered.

I think this applies to any of us, no matter where we are on the spiritual journey, not just pastors, emirs, or leaders. None of us are that strong or successful – most days we’re just barely getting by. I think that’s why we’re told to encourage one another. The ultimate decision is yours, but sometimes it takes and outsider’s perspective to put things in place for you. Just a few things to reinvigorate you. Let’s face it, the times of doubt and worthlessness constantly plague leaders of any stripe. We constantly live with the nagging voices, internal and external, and we have to know the difference between it being time to step down or move on, and “the Enemy” simply playing on our doubts and weakness.

Don’t get me wrong, if the work is meant to be done, God will raise up the people to do it. We aren’t bigger than the work, nor are either of us irreplaceable. However, we’re here now and I don’t think God is done with either of us yet.

And now I think I’ll go blog all of this.*

*And because it’s my blog, I will leave out my other spiritual advice that began “Get your head out of your ass.”

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