Blog: Max Dawson
June 29, 2017
Let me tell you a story that I heard more than thirty years ago. It was an incident that took place at a women’s club in a large city.
A concert pianist (I don’t recall her name) put on a private event for the women’s group. She thrilled those present with selections from Rachmaninoff and Gershwin. After the event was over, one of the club’s patrons chatted with the pianist.
“Your playing just thrilled me. I would give anything to be able to play like you.”
“No, you wouldn’t!” was the terse reply.
Shocked, the patron exclaimed, “I would! I really would give anything!”
The pianist responded again, “If you were truly willing to give anything, then you would have already done so. But you haven’t. So you are not willing to give anything to be a concert pianist.”
She continued, “Would you be wiling to give up married life and a family? I never married because I knew I could not freely pursue my skills as a pianist; it would not be fair to a husband and children. Would you be willing to practice 6-8 hours every day for years, hoping for an opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall? Would you be open to correction from the harshest teachers in the world? Would you be ready for the music critics to tear you down after every concert?
“Even after all these years I still must practice every day. If I miss a day, I know it. If I miss a week of practice, the critics know it. If I miss two weeks of practice, the public knows it.
“Would you really be willing to give anything to be a concert pianist? I think not.”
Are you shocked by the sharp reply of the pianist? Most folks find her reply to be brutal and unkind. “But,” we must ask, “is it true?”
When most people say, “I would give anything…” they don’t really mean it. Maybe it is just idle talk. Maybe it is even meant as a compliment to the other person. But, if they really would give anything, they would have already done so–or at least be in the process of pursuing it.
Now, think about skills and works in the church. How many times has “I would give anything…” been said to a song leader, elder, Bible class teacher, etc. Think in terms of any leadership role among God’s people.
Two weeks ago, at the Southside Lectures in Pasadena, Texas, Tim Stevens excelled in leading the song services. Lots of folks might like to lead like brother Stevens, but are they willing to work hard like he did to become a great song leader? Even though Tim is experienced at leading large groups of people, he continued to work hard in the course of the week to lead excellent worship. Always looking to do better; always trying to draw people closer to God; that’s what Tim did. That’s what good leaders do.
If you would look back at Monday’s Leadership Blog, you will note that I wrote about Joseph, and how he became a great leader by what he did every day–particularly his unswerving faithfulness to God, even in really bad situations.
Becoming a great leader is not the result of a one day event. Once more, I would point to the quote, “Leadership develops daily–not in a day.” What are you doing today that will enhance your leadership skills in serving God and His people?
Blessings to you, my dear friends,