By Dan Cooper on September 04, 2018

Discouraged? You can Leave or you can Lead.

I usually write to the CEO and the Owner. Today, I write to you as a part of the team, a parishioner.

I’m discouraged. My faith is being discredited by our leaders at a furious pace. As a Catholic, I’m sad, appalled, and angry at the impact men, placed in high trust positions, took advantage of kids and then covered it up. I mourn those kids (now adults) and what they had to go through. Many in our church are questioning their faith. Some are leaving the church and others the faith entirely.

My protestant brothers have voiced similar opinions of discouragement. Willow Creek church is reeling from the assault accusations against founding pastor Bill Hybels. The teaching pastor resigned. Their Global Leadership Summit, which is rich in business leadership content took a hit losing more than 100 churches who normally simulcast the presentations. They left.

How about our Country? There are as many people who are as discouraged as there are excited about our direction.

When you are discouraged, beat down, trust broken, sad, and yet a believer in where you are and what it stands for, and who you stand with, what do you do?

Fr. Mike Schmitz, a priest in Minnesota, recorded a passionate monologue where he articulates what I am feeling. It comes down to two options.

I can leave or I can lead.

First I grieve and pray for and with those who have gone through inexplicable trauma and pain.

Then, I can watch, complain, throw stones, and leave. Or, I can see the good and make those with me and behind me stronger.

This is apart from leadership. I don’t want to confuse the message with the messenger. Messengers will always be flawed, broken, and sinful. Leaders should know better and yet, like all of us, are susceptible to attacks by the enemy.

What makes a company, a church, a country, a family, or a school suck? I do. My involvement or lack thereof, my attitude, and how I act, think, and talk.

I can also make those places great and make them mine by leading in how I show up, talk, act, think, and work within them.

I can leave or I can lead. Today, I choose lead.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
John 6:68

Published by Dan Cooper September 4, 2018