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Stretch of a Lifetime

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” – John Stott

Ten days ago, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis set a new world record, 6.17 meters (20 feet 2.75 inches), eclipsing the old record by a single centimeter.

Pole vaulting is an odd sport. The athletes run as fast as they can, soar as high as possible, sling themselves over a bar, and hopefully, land safely. If successful, fans cheer while inconsiderate officials raise the standard to a higher level.

Leadership is a lot like pole vaulting. Success does not provide fewer responsibilities; clearing the bar leads to greater opportunities and challenges.

Paul describes several qualities Timothy should look for in potential new church leaders. He introduces the passage with the statement, “if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” (I Timothy 3:1) The word translated ‘sets his heart’ means to stretch oneself.

Leading well is not easy or for the faint of heart. Leaders are forced out of their comfort zones and stretched in new and sometimes perplexing ways.

Whether in your home, school, church, or community, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself and take on the challenge of leadership. In any arena, being an overseer is a noble task!

Dan Bolin


Refueling in Flight


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