Every Leader Needs a Gang
Ryan and I had the privilege of hanging out with "The Gang" yesterday. These are the people we count among our most trusted, loyal, and fun friends in DC. Or maybe the best way to describe it is that they are the friends that have put up with us the longest. For the most part, we all met in a small group back in the 1998-1999 year or in a small group that spun off of that group. When I think about the people who have been most instrumental in challenging me, inspiring me, and discipling me during my seasons of life and ministry in DC, these are the people I think about. Now, it seems we are all running in a million different directions, having assumed new responsibilities and leadership roles in our careers and leading our own ministries and groups. So our lives don’t connect nearly as often as I’d like. And yet they are still the people who I trust with my life, my spiritual growth, and my stuff.
They don't give a rip that I carry the title "pastor." It's not important to them. On the other hand, it's extremely important to them. They are willing to challenge me and ask me the hard questions because they want to see me finish well. They let me take the pastor hat off and stand spiritually naked before them...stripped of responsibilities, titles, and expectations...just me, stumbling forward in my faith, trying desperately but often failing to love Jesus and love people the way God created me to do that. They give me courage through that process...and the courage to pick up the pastor hat and put it back on again.
Every leader needs a Gang. It's the place where I attend small group. The problem is, we are often so busy that we lose connection with the very people we need to connect with the most. Ryan and I decided at the beginning of the year to launch a "black market small group" (the term we give to groups that aren't officially "registered" at NCC and therefore not open to the public) for the Gang would meet once a month. All of us are leaders of other groups or ministries; this gathering gives us the opportunity to spur one another on in our personal spiritual lives and in those ministries.
Who is in your Gang?