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Balancing Your Act!

I have been a Salvation Army Officer for 50 something years now. I write this in the context of officership, but it pertains to leadership of every stripe. If I had to describe my officer leadership experience in one sentence it would be this:

“Leadership is a continuous balancing act.”

Leadership is like walking a tightrope. Our unique relationship with Christ is like walking a tightrope. Satan is the opposing gravitational force and the pull is always downward. We are resisting the pull whilst the world is in free fall.

To jump out of an airplane and free fall must be an exhilarating feeling. If I were not such a coward I would try it. What the world doesn’t realize is that they don’t have a parachute. Whilst they are enjoying the experience now they are in for a crash landing.

We don’t want to participate in the free fall. We want to participate in the “free for all”—the Grace parachute. It is the grace of God that gives us balance. It is our balance that keeps us from falling. Balance is critical. Risk is involved. Mistakes will be made. Gravity will prevail if we are not balanced in our personal spiritual life and ministry.

Officership (Leadership) is a continuous balancing act. It is like walking a tightrope. You must consciously and continuously work at balancing your act. It is God’s grace, His “free for all” that will bring balance to your life and ministry.

A false balance is abomination to the LORD:

but a just weight is his delight

(Prov 11:1)

I think of the Great Wallendas, a famous family of tightrope walkers. They were always improving on their balancing act, adding new innovations, expanding their repertoire, stretching their talents, taking additional risks, always improving and moving to another level in their profession.

One evening they premiered a new balancing act. It was so unique and so dangerous that the event received worldwide attention in the media. You may remember it. The whole family was balanced precariously on the shoulders of one of the family members like an inverted pyramid that stretched out many meter’s on either side of the wire.

And the person on the bottom was balancing the entire family as he rode on a bicycle. It was something that had never been done before. There was no net beneath them. The one on the bottom carried the weight of responsibility. His balance held the whole act together and kept them from falling to death and destruction.

As the family moved out toward the center of the wire the person on the bottom, the one in control, the leader, the one with the weight of responsibility on his shoulders lost his balance and the entire family, all 9 or 10 of them, went plunging tragically to the floor far below them.

As leader’s, if we lose our sense of balance we will often take others down with us, and that is part of the tragedy. There need not be tragedy in our ministry. We need not lose our balance.

Over the next several weeks, I would like to focus on three things that we must do to keep our leadership balanced. The rider failed in one of these three areas. In order to stay balanced, as leaders, we must keep ourselves…

Centered. Focused. Practiced


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