Finishing Well - Part 1
by Brett Davis
I have mentioned previously in different personal communications that God has quite supernaturally given me 1 Samuel 12 in recent times, in relation to my upcoming succession for the international leadership of Christian Surfers. It's beyond imagination that of the 1089 chapters of the Bible and 365 days of the year that THIS ONE CHAPTER fell on the day I announced my intent to move on from the role AND fell again open on the day we announced Roy Harley’s name to the CSI Council to consider to fill the role.
This chapter was key to what I shared at our recent international conference. This chapter is key to what it means to finish well. The chapter is titled "Samuels Farewell Address" and is the final words of a godly leader to the people he has led, and it is about finishing well.
I will share four things over the next four weeks from it that you might want to take to heart if you desire to finish well in your ministry, work or whatever it may be.
Finishing well means end clean to start clean.
There's nothing more debilitating that leaving a legacy of unfinished messy business with people. Hurts, unresolved conflicts and unspoken resentment can all impact the incoming leader, even though that person may have have had nothing to do with the personal pain. The pain is translated to the new leader by virtue of the position they represent and casts a relationship based on the pain of the past rather than the opportunities of the future.
"I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day. Now testify against me in the presence of the Lord and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong." 1 Samuel 12:2-3
He acknowledges that when he started out he was just a boy. Most of us start out in leadership with 'boyish intent', usually well-intentioned but lacking maturity and sensitivity. No doubt many mistakes are made, some conscious, most unconscious, we are just plain boyishly unaware. Be prepared to acknowledge this. Naive immaturity is no excuse for hurting people.
He gives permission before God and before the whole company of people to call him on any offence. By doing this publicly it empowers people who might be nurturing private wounds to come forward. Don't wait to be confronted, those who have not confronted you already probably never will. Rather, invite the confrontation openly and humbly.
He gives a list of potential offences a leader could give. those in power have potential to abuse that power. By naming the sin, it gives a name to hurts people may be holding onto and it adds to the transparency and sincerity of the offer. What might be the list of possible abuses of power you could have made? Will you state them?
He promises to do all he can to restore the offence. "I will make right whatever I have done wrong." I imagine since he defined the potential offence to involve ox or donkey or bribes he is offering practically to restore anything they had lost. Talk is cheap, action is required. Are you ready to make full restoration for an offence?
We see here that Samuel is committed to end clean - clean up any mess, any misunderstanding, any abuse of power. This is a great way for a godly leader to finish up for their own sake. However, it is not just about ending clean, its also about enabling the new person to start clean. A clean start means the new leader is making fresh new history, new opportunities, new friendships that are all free from any issues from the past leader.
If you want to finish well, end clean to start clean.
CSI is also wanting to put its money where its mouth is and help Roy start well with stable financial backing. We have a crowdfunding campaign currently happening, and we are 25% of the way through in time, with just 4% of our $30,000 goal raised. Will you contribute? Visit http://igg.me/at/csinternational and help usher in a new era of mission to surfers.
More on finishing well coming your way soon...