There will always be a time after you.
Leadership is the ability to work for the team, not the ability to make your skill set indispensable.
I hate bubbles.
Let me clarify, I love actual bubbles. There used to be this whole area of Silver Dollar City where anyone could put themselves in a giant bubble. I loved seeing the swirling rainbows all around me as the bubble was pulled up around my body. I also love seeing actual bubbles in general. I think part of that fascination is their use in the movie Labyrinth. I want to catch one like David Bowie did, not that he ever really did, but still wanting to try.
What I hate is leadership bubbles.
Leadership bubbles are situations where one person makes themselves indispensable by creating a skill set they do not help others earn. The system runs great while they are in it, but the moment they leave, the bubble pops, and everything fails.
When you know an institution would fail if that one person leaves, you know you've met a bubble maker.
I don't want to be in the bubble making business.
I'm in a strange place with Fig Tree. I'm like a mother with a toddler. I'm both protecting and empowering. These are formative years, years that set the tone for the remaining years.
At the same time, I HATE the Melissa show! The Melissa show is one big bubble, waiting to be popped.
It's technically great for me. I get all the focus. It's terrible for Fig Tree. I've always had bigger vision for this, and it never ended with me. I saw a ministry for the broken, not just me talking about it in front of a camera or in a blog. I saw digital ministry being more than a Sunday worship.
I'm guarded with my celebrations, it's because I've always been playing the very long game. I could write or produce something, and it could get thousands of views, but until there is more than me doing it, it's a failure. Not because it's a failure right this minute, but because we're at a point where if I were to die tomorrow, Fig Tree and everything it has been building up to be, would die with me.
I see the potential, The loss of what could be, is greater than what we have now.
Church is not a business
Corporations have trained us to be bubble makers. We want our specific skill set to be so unique that upper management can't easily replace us. It turns skill into a resource, and takes community out of the equation.
Church can't work that way. True, we are individuals, each with our own perspective. It's impossible to see the world through anyone else's eyes. It is through our individual perspective that God calls us to be a communal group. We must trust God enough to make our skill set a communal skill set. To trust in God's overarching story over and beyond our desire to be more than obsolete. We are never obsolete in God's eyes when we are in a true community of believers.