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[Blog] The View is Worth It!

blog Jun 08, 2022

 

 

by Chris Bowen

            I like to compare life as a leader to a trip to Stone Mountain, since I live in Georgia and it is such a popular tourist attraction. Everyone loves to be at the base of the mountain. That’s where picnics take place. That’s where thousands gather nightly during the summer for the beautiful laser shows. All kinds of festivals are held there, celebrating the seasons.

            Some people go to Stone Mountain for years without even realizing there is a trail they can take to actually climb to the top. And of those who know about it, most aren’t prepared or willing to pay the price. It requires so much more effort than just hanging out with the crowd at the bottom where all the fun is. 

            Of the many aspects of being a leader I wasn’t quite prepared for at the tender age of 24, when I became a full-time senior pastor, one of the greatest shocks was discovering just how lonely leading a flock of people could be. I wasn’t really aware of it for the first few years; my wife and I were busy with raising our sons, which with the busyness of also being a “founding father” of a church kept me occupied for quite some time. 

            I was too naive, excited and determined to realize not everyone who was “with” me, was actually on my side or even wanted to see me succeed as a leader. Only over time did I learn that one of the deepest pains in leadership is finding that true friends, especially among pastors, are indeed few and far between.
            As the church grew, so did my dreams. My former goal of leading a church of 100 was no longer satisfying. I began to dream big! Not only for the church, but for my personal growth as well. But as I began to express those dreams, I experienced the pain of realizing some of the very people that I once trusted with my life were actually hoping I would fail!

 

Paying the price
            You may have had this same experience as a leader. It can be devastating. If this has been your experience, let me encourage you that the pain of loneliness or betrayal of friends can become the very force that drives you to the top!           

            When you know why you are doing what you are doing, you can find yourself living your dream. You just have to be willing to pay the price of losing some folks along the journey as a leader. It’s been said that “life is like an elevator. On your way up, sometimes you have to stop and let some people off.”

            There is a popular business quote that says, “It’s lonely at the top. That’s why a Bugatti has two seats and a bus has 50.” Yes, my friend, it’s true that leadership is costly, and sometimes even lonely. But be encouraged and keep going! Keep climbing, because, as those visitors to Stone Mountain who make the trek discover, the view from the mountaintop is so amazing!