In John Chapter 7 Jesus is teaching in the temple courts. When those who hear him begin to applaud his brilliance, he says: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth.” [John 7:17]

This is humility.

The leader recognizes that he is not powerful enough to have caused the upset nor the circumstances that many say disturb them. Aware that each person connected to the disappointment has a contribution, he faces little temptation to assume he alone is responsible for the unwelcome turn of events. He has grounded himself in the understanding thathe is not significant enough to have produced the organization’s successes or its failures. He has a part. His colleagues have a part. The system has a part. And, factors beyond anyone’s control have also contributed to the outcome.

Rather than encouraging carelessness, the leader’s decision to interpret life this way empowers responsibility to one another and to the ministry’s mission and goals.

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage