The 2 Rails Leaders Run On


How do you manage the tension between leading with a visionary faith and sound stewardship? Consider your path as a ministry or business like the 2 Rails a train runs on. Knowing that we each have a tendency to run on one or the other, discover what running on both rails can do…

Rail #1 –  Stewardship. This rail keeps the train running in a manageable way. Running on this rail means asking measured questions such as, “Who do we want on board?” “What is our destination?” “What is our timetable for arrival?” And, “What is needed and where are we when it comes to people and financial resources?” You need to gather numerous advisors to help you keep the train on this rail.

Warning: Don’t use this rail as an excuse to stay at the station. The destination isn’t going to come to you. That is, unless eventual closure or failure is your goal. Then, by all means, keep saving for the “rainy day” that never comes and don’t move until you have more than enough of everything.

Rail #2 – Faith. This rail gets the train moving and keeps it moving, trusting that God will guide and provide along the way unseen. You might say this rail feels like it is alway running downhill, wanting to pick up pace as the mile markers fly by, fueled by an inspirational vision and in a blur of increasing morale and momentum.

The Hebrew writer encourages us, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV) 

Warning: Don’t use this rail as an excuse to move too far, too fast. No, not everyone is going to go with you. Still, give ample time for you and your lead team to map the course and promote the journey with excellence and allow all those going to get on board. Besides, while you want to move with swift purpose, you don’t want to get derailed when you come upon unexpected and hard curves.

The wisdom writer reminds us, Desire without knowledge is not good – how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” (Proverbs 19:2, NIV)

Label this under a tension to be managed and not a problem to be solved (ala Andy Stanley). Make sure you have in your engine car leadership engineers… some who like the rail of stewardship and some the rail of faith.  Together, these will keep you moving successfully towards your destination.

How do you ride the rails of leadership? Share your thoughts on these 2 Rails in the Reply section below…

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