Hot Inside, Cold Outside


We’re wrapping up the conference here in Japan and it’s been a great time. Always fun to connect with passionate believers from other nations.

We’ve been freezing at night though so last Wednesday, I turned the heater up and we slept well.

But the next morning, our room was really warm. Uncomfortably warm. So I dressed lightly, imagining it was warm outside as well. When I saw the locals with scarves and beanies I knew I made a mistake.

I made the mistake of basing my decisions on the temperature of the room, not the temperature outside.

Too many leaders in ministry make the same mistake. We base our leadership on the temperature within our own bubbles and not on the temperature of our team or the world we’re called to reach.

  • Sometimes when I’ve been reading too many articles of different debates within the Christian church, I end up armed with arguments and counterpoints to questions most students aren’t asking.
  • Sometimes I project what God’s doing in my heart as what He’s doing in society or in the church.
  • Sometimes when I’m preparing a message, I read more blogs than talk to actual people. Then my messages are completely off point. I forget that it’s more fruitful to read the Bible and know the people.
  • Many times I read a leadership book and indiscriminately copy their practices without considering the team, culture, and people I’m leading.

I’m sure you can think of your own examples. It’s a simple point – don’t lead from a bubble. Don’t consider your own experiences alone. Get to know the people you’re leading.

Leaders lead people. If you want to lead well, get to know the people you’re leading. Check the temperature of the world around you. And you’ll act rightly.

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