When I was first in leadership I was an arrogant idiot. I'd not have admitted that. You might not have noticed it. But I was. I was self-confident. I was proud. I was a very young Christian. Many traits remain.
During that first year in leadership, 1998, I made some right stinkers. I failed to see the big picture. I failed to see the implications of my ideas. I got it wrong. The guy who was our CU Staffworker, Chris Sinkinson, had the confidence in the gospel to rebuke me. May 1998. It was the first time that anyone had ever told me I was wrong. And for it, I am forever grateful.
I got it wrong. And the Chris picked me up and invested time in me. And he could do it because the gospel makes it possible. The gospel means permission to fail. The gospel is a display of God's perfect patience to sinful people. Its a message that says - If God can save Dave Bish he can save anyone. And it's true.
This has huge implications for ministry and ministry training. Above all it means permissio to fail. It means we can afford to let people get stuff wrong. It means we can let people try and fail. And it means that we can pick them up and let them try again. And again. And again.
Grace for leadership means that people don't have to get it right first time. It spells generosity and freedom. To often I'm harsh. To often I expect too much. Where's my heart? Where's my desire to encourage? Where's my confidence?
One of the key mottos of our Relay training programme is: encourage the good whereever you find it, and if you can't find it look harder. When God is at work there is always good stuff to encourage.
A grace filled environment that makes space to try and fail could change the world. Free from having to perform perfectly we can step out and do big things for God. Free from fear of failure we can shoot for the sky.
And because the sound doctrine of the glorious gospel of the happy God defines who I am, I can even look stupid and it'll be ok. For me that is difficult. I'm proud. I don't like looking stupid. But the gospel says - you are an idiot - you get stuff wrong. But the gospel says - you're granted repentance, it's ok. It says, Dave, let the glory go to God. Stop trying to steal glory for yourself. Come, enjoy God's grace!
Aircon for my Soul Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3