I’m action oriented. That’s a nice way of saying I often express impatience. Notice that I didn’t say “I’m impatient,” as if impatience were something out of my control that simply happened to me one day. If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that my impatience is often a result of the twin sins of pride (“I don’t have time to put up with this inconvinience”) and insecurity (“Why is this taking so long? Something must be wrong!). I’m sad to also admit that I think there are times that I would rather have bad news that I could act on than sit waiting and wondering (and worrying)…

Impatience is not a victimless crime. It causes us to act out and treat people badly. I’m reminded of a leadership team meeting that I was part of. We were going over a topic that we had hit repeatedly without much progress (in my opinion). I felt we were spinning our wheels, and grew increasingly restless and irritated as the discussion went on and on…and on…and on…

Finally, someone made a statement that moved things towards a resolution. “That’s the most coherent thing I’ve heard all day!,” I blurted out. I also apparently blurted it out at a fairly loud volume, causing everyone in the room to turn to me with “what in the world?” looks on their various faces…

My friends on the directional team never let me forget that day [rightfully so]. Thankfully, they were a forgiving group, and we moved forward. They had patience with me…

Here’s the deal – patience is an essential leadership skill. You can achieve short-term goals with passion/energy, but anything long-term takes patience. Kids require patience. New staffers require patience. Worship team volunteers require patience. You require patience.

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