In the World War II movie “Merrill’s Marauders”, one the platoon leaders, a young lieutenant, likes for his men to call him by his first name and openly wants to be everyone’s friend. The platoon sergeant, a seasoned combat veteran, keeps reminding the lieutenant about field combat responsibilities – that becoming too close to the men can affect the officer’s ability to command in difficult and awkward situations.
Later in the story, which really happened in Burma, the lieutenant has to deploy his team in a combat situation. Some of the men get killed because they disagree with the lieutenant due to the casual relationship he promoted.
When the dust settles, the lieutenant admits his mistaken leadership style to the sergeant, waiting for the proverbial, “I told you so.” But the sergeant just says, “you still gotta write them letters, lieutenant.” (Meaning the letters to the parents of the dead GIs.)
When I began this church starting project, the Church Starter leader told me to be prepared to re-start my core leadership team more than once in the first 3 years. This happily hasn’t happened but we have seen that we may have come upon the different aspirations we may have originally had for starting this congregation and how that relates to CBF.
Besides trying to figure what makes the Millennial culture tick and if a redemptive analogy exists there, I can sense in our leadership core team a frustration of where the next turn is. Rather than paternalize easy answers and stop-gap solutions, my prayer is that we can listen to each other and how God is speaking to and through us.
In the analysis, like the lieutenant, I too have to write letters but happily letters of a different kind.