Softening the Call of Leadership

July 7, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership, Leadership Development, Recruitment

I found myself standing toe to toe recently with a potential new leader. As I took a deep breath and ask them to consider stepping into a new position I was overcome with the temptation to soften the call of leadership. I wanted to emphasize how little time it would take, how low the expectations were and how easy the position would be. The temptation to soften the call of leadership is huge.

I was reading Luke 9 yesterday where Jesus came across three potential new leaders. Listen how he handled the call to leadership. “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

I can’t think of one instance where Jesus softened the call to leadership when he was recruiting new leaders. In fact it’s just the opposite. Jesus was forthright and bold when he was asking for commitment. When we soften the call to leadership we run the risk of dampening the new leader’s passion, diminishing their sense of significance and decreasing their level of commitment.

The greater the need we have for leaders, the greater the temptation to soften the call of leadership. When our goal is simply to “Fill a Position” then we tend to soften the call to leadership. But when our goal is to find a passionate person who will serve God’s purpose then we will be bold and honest about the commitment and the level of expectations.

Do you need to recruit a new leader this week? As you approach them allow God to use you to stir their passion, vision and commitment.

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

One response to Softening the Call of Leadership

  1. This a great post Mac. Full of truth. Leadership is often a lonely place to be. I wrote that recently:

    I love it when we are thinking on the same track, because it makes me think I may be onto something!

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