I have been blessed to have just spent a week in NZ at a New Wine Leaders retreat. It was a reminder of the blessings of being able to spend time with great leaders. No matter what sphere you exist in, if you can spend time with people who have achieved great things, you will get hugely enriched from the interactions. I was with Mark Bailey from Trinity Cheltenham in the UK, Mike Norris from St Paul’s Auckland and Dave MacGreggor from Grace Vineyard Christchurch. All of them high capacity leaders who have made a big impact for the kingdom in their cities and increasingly their nations. There were so many little pearls of wisdom, insights and great laughs along the way. Here is what hanging out with great leaders will do…
1. Increase your vision! Mixing with leaders who you admire will give you a bigger vision for what can be achieved. While I admired the high capacity for work and gifts in each of these men, it also was encouraging to hear how through ordinary men and women, persisting for the kingdom, great things can be done. While it is easy to sit back and think that the big things are out of reach, it was huge to see how these leaders had stuck to their core values. They also spoke of constantly expanding and sharing the vision God had given them with their people.
2. Give you an honest perspective! A really great leader will be honest about how difficult it can be along the journey to success. Often from the outside we get the sugar-coated version of what it is like in a history changing church or business. When you spend time with great leaders you realise that the challenges are the same for most people. It is also refreshing to hear great leaders talk about their own failings and insecurities. Hopefully you can see something of yourself in the great leaders you hang out with.
3. Call you on! One thing that Mark Bailey accredited the great success of Trinity to, was his persistence and longevity in his calling. The big things we may dream of may not be achievable in 2 years but they may over 10 or 20 years. It was a huge encouragement to see how these great leaders have kept on despite all the criticisms and set backs leaders face. Think Steve Jobs being sacked by the company he started… But great leaders persevere because they know, that they know, that they know, what they are called to do.
If you get a chance to spend time with people you admire who have achieved great things in your sphere – take it. And soak it all up!