Don't Build a Sidewalk Yet

"We haven't laid down any sidewalks yet, because we aren't sure what paths students are going to be taking,"  the president of the Seminary informed the student body in a light-hearted, one-sided discussion about the renovations taking place on the new campus. 

It would be so easy for them to plan out the paths.  We would likely walk on them.  The governing body (whomever that may be...I honestly hope there is a legitimate 'sidewalk committee') could map out the most convenient trail from the parking lot to the building and lay down cement.  Instead, they are waiting.  

Brilliant. 

We take this mantle of leadership all too seriously when we assume that it means we should be setting the pathways for our people.  We fear, especially in ministry, that if we don't lay down the sidewalk for our people they may choose their own path and it would be a path of torment and destruction and bad theology and watching multiple seasons of Real Housewives of New York!  

As a leader, build a good structure - something fascinating - and the people will make their way to it.

When you begin to see a pattern of what path they take, then step up and lay down some cement to make it even easier for more people to find their way. 

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I should also say, if you have a 20 year-old sidewalk and you see that less and less people are using it you might just have to make a new path or build a new structure entirely.