Footloose | Ecclesiastes 11.8-10
Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will also be many dark days
And that most of what comes your way is smoke.
You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.
Live footloose and fancy-free—
You won’t be young forever.
Youth lasts about as long as smoke.
Ecclesiastes 11:8-10 | MSG
According to a study by the Barna Group, there are more than 1,500 pastors who exit full-time ministry each month.
Over 18,000 a year move on to something else.
If we don’t address that, we’re irresponsible in our position as leaders. But it’s not just ministers who have a corner on this market. Politicians, CEOs, coaches, businessmen—none of them started out thinking they were going to lie to people, embezzle money or cheat to win. But at some point, it happens for many of these once well-intentioned leaders. Professional racing isn’t for the faint of heart. Just like in ministry, split-second decisions and timing can be the recipe for success — or disaster. In those cases where something goes wrong and a car spins out, it collects other cars in its wake.
Likewise, when we have people spinning out at any level of leadership, there is collateral damage. People get collected into that mess. We have a responsibility to address, be prepared and train in order to eliminate the collateral damage at best or at least limit it.
So, my dear pilgrim friend, whether you are just beginning your leadership journey, halfway through or in the twilight of your leadership career, I invite you to consider the principles and ideas in this book. Let’s explore how we can be agents of change in the world of leadership in both our personal leadership and the way we train others—
and let us finish well the race that is set before us.
“Live footloose and fancy free.” In what ways has your faith walk grown tired and predictable? Where could it stand a wee injection of “footloose and fancy free”?
Abba, infuse my faith walk with new vigour and life; help me to find my feet freer, looser, as I find myself drawn into your kingdom rhythms. Let me hear your fresh invitation into the dance. And give me the courage at this and every age to step out onto the floor with you. Through Christ.