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Has God called your team to NOT take that hill?

| by Scott Cochrane

So much of leadership is inspiring and vision-casting our teams to ‘take that hill for Christ’; to enable those we lead to see beyond their fears and insecurities, and to instill within them a belief that we can accomplish more than we thought possible.

And sometimes God is quietly telling us to stay right where we are…to nottake that hill…to allow God to fulfill His purposes precisely through our inaction.

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel both warned the people of Judah notto resist the conquering Babylonians. While other false prophets were whipping the people up to go to war with the Babylonians, God’s true prophets were saying, “No. Wait. Don’t resist. Don’t fight.”

This story underscores two vital principles for leaders:

1. The urge to take action is not always God’s plan.

This is not to say that as Christians our leadership should be passive. Far from it. Leaders should possess a bias towards action as a critical piece in their arsenal.

But there are other vital components in a leader’s arsenal, such as:

  • Discernment
  • Wisdom
  • A listening ear towards heaven, to understand God’s greater purpose.

Before charging up the hill, leaders need to ensure they have embraced God’s greater purpose.

2. God’s timing is not always in alignment with our timing.

God had a timetable for the deliverance of His people. It was to be a 70-year ordeal, during which time God would be teaching His people some important lessons. 

Sometimes God still uses timing we don’t understand to fulfill His purposes. 

A key question for leaders to ask is, “Are we moving forward on our timetable, or on God’s?”

So, as leaders what do we do with this? How do leaders navigate the tension between a ‘bias toward action’ and having the patience to wait on heaven?

3. Check your motives. 

Ask, “Is there any part of this decision that’s rooted in a need to drive a personal agenda?”

4. Take a pause.

Build space into your leadership where you can intentionally allow God to give clear marching orders or clear “not marching” orders.

5. Redefine courage.

It can take as much courage to stand still as it does to move forward. 

Here’s the point: If God has said to take that hill, then move forward with tenacity and boldness.

But recognize that it is possible He is calling you to nottake that hill. And learning to obey that calling just might be the most profound leadership you will ever exercise.

Photo source: istock 

Scott Cochrane

Scott Cochrane serves on the executive team for the Willow Creek Association, as Vice President, International Ministries. He was born and raised in Canada, where he became connected to the Willow Creek Association, first as a marketing director and later as the ministry’s Chief Operating Officer. Scott has been married to Nora since 1985, and they have three grown married children, Adam, Amy and John, as well as three grandchildren.

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