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July's Message from Pastor Greg:
Trust! How important is trust for a leader? Trust is the most important thing! For the past few months, we have been discussing the subject of leadership and how leadership is practiced in a wide array of situations and circumstances. In fact, we have discovered that all of us are leaders in some capacity.
We also learned that leadership is influence. This being the case, it becomes clear why trust is so crucial to effective leadership. When I was first invited to join the police department as a chaplain, I was told that the most important thing I had to do was earn the trust of the officers and staff. Without their trust, there was no way I could effectively serve them. I was also told that it might take as long as two years to accomplish this task.
Sure enough, when I first started and was introduced around, the officers were generally cordial, but nothing more. And so, I started the long process of getting to know them in order to earn their trust. I rode in their patrol cars, took my church work to the chaplain’s office when possible, and did whatever I could do to be useful. Over time, I began earning the trust of one after another. As trust developed, I’ve been privileged to be invited into some of their homes. Several have spoken to me in confidence, which is something cops struggle to do. But what would it take to destroy that trust? Break one confidence, tell one lie, behave without integrity, fail to keep my word, and it would be gone just like that. No trust, no influence, no leadership. The same is true in my role as pastor of this congregation. Break confidence, tell untruths, fail to keep my word, behave immorally, and the trust would be gone, along with the ability to lead. Trust takes time and patience to build, but only moments to lose, and without it there is no hope of leading.
So, you, too, are a leader in some capacity. Have you considered the importance of building and maintaining trust with those you are trying to influence? If you’re a parent, there comes a time when saying, “Because I said so,” doesn’t count. If your example is trustworthy, then influencing your children will be easier (I didn’t say easy, but easier). But, if your children see you as untrustworthy, then whatever compliance you get will be coerced. Outside the home, can your teammates at work trust you implicitly? Can your friends or acquaintances in the community rely without question on the integrity of your character?
If you have broken trust with someone, how can you get it back? If you are to get it at all, here is something to consider. First, apologize to whomever you have hurt or betrayed. Then, if you can make amends or restitution, do so, and commit to regaining their trust. The greater the violation, the longer it will take. The onus is not on them to trust. The onus is on you to earn it. If you have broken trust at home, start there before working to repair professional relationships.
I’m reminded of the words a very wise man,
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.
The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:18-19, 22
I wish you a safe and blessed summer!
Join us Saturdays for worship:
Bible Study Classes (All Ages): 9:30 AM
Music Worship Service: 10:45 AM
Sermon Hour: 11:30 AM