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Monday, August 10, 2009

Lessons in Letting Go

Today MCC was invaded by 130 high-energy elementary students for the annual Noah's Half-Day Camp. It's an exercise in delegation, trust and creativity. My job was to wander, float and schmooze! It enables me to drop in on a class with my camera, watch, listen and take some pictures (today over 300!). What I observed was how uniquely each class was set up and run, from the preschool child-care for teachers' children, to the snacks, missions, music, skit, and all the different age levels.
Noah's is a long-standing tradition at MCC. And with traditions comes the momentum to "do it the same way we have always done it." There is something heartwarming in that; the gathering in the gym, snacks on the patio, the rocking music, wild games, crafts and snacks. But there is also the need to upgrade, update and innovate. I saw numerous examples of it in the music, technology, crafts and mission (a youth sports camp outside of Cairo!).
But the best way to dampen enthusiasm is to assign a person to a leadership area, and then tie their hands with the way its always been done (or the way I think it should be done from my wise vantage point). I notice that among the musicians. They really thrive on having the freedom to choose their own songs, set their own volume and tempo and watch the kids take off! This year the snack people asked for non-nut snacks because more and more children have nut allergies. It is a bit of a change, but a good changes for the health of all the campers.
As I watched this great organization take off today, I reflected on my own style of leadership. I often ask for others to help me, to take on a leadership role, but then I want to tell them how it should be done and I have notices how the light dims in their eyes. Do I really trust others to do a good job differently from the way its been done in the past and, more importantly, the way I have or would do it? This will be a good lab-experience for me this week to watch others lead in new and creative ways. May I learn the lessons in leadership God wants to teach me.

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