Dear Leader, Become Irrelevant

I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. ~ Henri Nouwen

These words were penned by one who made himself irrelevant by serving in an out of the way community for the last years of his life. Though highly capable and aptly credentialed, Henri Nouwen died caring for men and women with developmental disabilities.

His words reminded me of Eugene Peterson’s counsel for pastors to avoid wanting to be “where the action is.” In layman’s terms, be wary of the spotlight. Above all, don’t seek it out. Seeking such things opens the door to a monstrous world of soul-deep evils.

How do you keep from seeking center stage? Or have your eyes opened if those grotesque evils start seeping through?

It takes being known. The moment you begin closing yourself off to being truly known and WANTING to be known, be certain that your desire for relevance and subsequent invulnerability will distance you from good leaders and potential co-laborers.

Before long you will have a ‘yes’ team around you that doesn’t bother challenging or prodding. Or, if they do, you’ll ignore their counsel and do what you want regardless. And you’ll be weaker for it. The body will be weaker for it.

But Christ will not be stalled. His work will endure.

Sincerely,

A recovering spotlight seeker

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