Navigating a Narrow Road
While living in Scotland we would often drive a narrow road that wound around the hills of Royal Deeside. At the point where the pavement encroached in and our wheels seemed to hang over each side, there came a sign that read, “Danger — Road Narrows.” Really? How much narrower can it get?
That same question confronts leaders today. Following Jesus means living and leading on the narrow road. Jesus tells us, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt. 7:13–14)
Leading on this narrow road requires navigating between two cliffs — an increasingly Christophobic culture and an ever-compromising church. The former hates the things of God, the latter is abandoning his truth. As they grow in size and steepness, the road between them grows ever narrower, and choosing it will come at a greater price.
We shouldn’t be surprised to find Jesus here. He walked this narrow road, confronting the church and culture of his day with his Father’s truth. As a result, the Roman rulers scourged him, his followers abandoned him, the world mocked him and the religious leaders crucified him. From this same path of sacrifice, he looks to us and says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24)
Are we prepared and committed to lead our organizations down that road? To abandon our allegiances to the values of our culture and refuse the temptations of the easier path offered by a church that has lost its first love? Both decisions will put us in conflict with those who follow the “patterns of this world,” but as Paul charges us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2)
God is looking for steward leaders to walk this narrow road. Why steward leaders?
Because the heart of a steward leader has been set free to lead in joyful obedience. As stewards, we are driven by absolute obedience to the true owner. And because if the owner is the God we know in Jesus Christ, our work is the source of our greatest joy.
R. Scott Rodin PhD., has a passion for helping God’s people discover the freedom and joy of the faithful steward. He is president of The Steward’s Journey and Kingdom Life Publishing. This is an excerpt for the 2016 Winter edition of Outcomes Magazine.