what the church could learn from springsteen // 04

image Rick Newman brings us our number three thing we could learn from Bruce:  Share the credit.

There’s been a lot of hype about Springsteen reuniting with his famed E Street Band for the first full tour since 2003, but come on — Springsteen, the man, is the draw, pure and simple. Still, this is one maestro who spreads the glory across the stage. Not once during the show does a spotlight shine on Springsteen alone. He continually calls out "Steve," "Clarence" and the other band members. And when they bow at the end, they bow together.                          – Rick Newman, US News and World Report

It is a picture I still have in my mind. We were in the throws of a full-on E street experience with sold out crowd in Chicago. The band was lighting it up Jersey- style. The crowd was singing along and the focus was not directly on the Boss man.   Bruce walked over to long-time friend, Clarence.  (Note to all Boss newbies:  Clarence blows the sax for the man.  And he is baaaaaaad).  He stood beside Clarence and together they looked at the crowd.  He reached down and grabbed Clarence’s hand and together they silently stared at the crowd.  It was a brief moment that spoke volumes to me.  A simple holding of hands that said "Can you believe this?  Can you believe that we get to do this together?  Don’t forget this moment we have.  How lucky are we?"

It may have been the best part of the show for me.  Springsteen doing his genuine best to share the limelight.  We could learn a thing or two from that.

Any way that you cut it, church leadership is a team effort.  If you think you are in it alone, you are wrong.  If you think you can handle it alone, you are wronger :>

How can we share the credit?  We need to realize . . .

  1. God gets the credit for this gig.  I realize that is the cliche thing to say, but it had better be true.  God gets pretty worked up when other people take the glory away from him.  It’s a dangerous place to be.  A couple years ago I was pulling into our church parking lot.  I looked at our large building and thought of our extensive ministries.  I slowed the car and quickened my pride.  I started to recount all the hard work, long hours, planning, and loss of sleep that had brought us to where we were.  My pride got the best of me.  I was proud for what I was part of building.  At that moment I sensed the spirit of God say to me "Scot, what has happened here has been because of my hand. If you start to take credit for it, I will begin to remove my blessing."  Gulp.  Check please.
  2. We need to operate as a team.  I get a little sideways when I hear Pastor’s talk about "their church."  Or something that "they" did.  We can operate as a CEO who thinks that the church world revolves around us, or we can wake up and realize that this kingdom thing is based on many people doing many thing.
  3. Leaders take the blame, share the fame.  My Dad once said "When something goes wrong, you take the blame.  You say "I."  When something goes right, you share the fame, you say "We.""  Smart man.
  4. Life was meant to be lived together.  I would much rather gather my team around me and celebrate a job well done than drive home alone and tell myself how good I am.  When people compliment me, I state the dead-on truth:  "We have a great team, I am glad to be a part of it." 

There are unsung hero’s on your staff.  There are people on your team who deserve some recognition.  Share the love.  Spread around the credit.  Don’t be afraid to grab a few hands, take a look at the landscape, and say "Can you believe this?" 

And when you bow, bow together.

Photo by luiginter

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One thought on “what the church could learn from springsteen // 04

  1. Right on, brother! A key element of worship leading: humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Thanks for the great reminder, and the cool secular example!