Pronoun Posturing (for leaders)
It’s been told to me, and I’ve said it. It’s a leadership principle that’s been touted. It’s this, we need to earn our right to lead.
We have to go out and do the hard work, the behind the scenes work, the work that involves leading a couple of people before a couple hundred people. And while there’s some truth in that, the Bible calls us to a different posture.
It’s still about working hard. But what it’s not about is “us”, “me”, or even, “we”.
2 Chronicles records Solomon’s establishment as king and the remarkable conversation where Solomon’s request to God was a request for “wisdom and knowledge.”
But recently, something else stood out to me in that exchange. It’s in the last half of verse eleven. God is speaking and grants Solomon wisdom and knowledge, and then says, “But you have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king.”
Notice the “my” and then “I”?
Whose people will Solomon govern? God’s people.
Who made Solomon king? God did.
It’s as if God was saying, “Look, I’m going to provide you with some exceptional gifts. But remember, I gave those gifts of wisdom and knowledge, and I’m putting you in a place of leadership. And yes, I’m allowing you to lead my people.”
Do we need this same kind of reminder that emphasizes pronouns?
You see, God knows what leader-types are like. We get the opportunity to do something for God’s kingdom and we’re honored. But then all the sudden we either forgot who put us there and/or we begin to think about our newly established leadership opportunity as our own little personal fiefdom.
The church we serve is not ours. The people are not ours. We’re a short-term steward of people and leadership opportunities.
As leaders, our choice of words when describing the who, how and why we lead is important. But even more important, is the heart behind the words. Are we really in a posture that reflects the proper (God-honoring) pronouns?
Here’s to proper pronouns.