My all time favourite TV series is M*A*S*H, a comedy/drama centred around the doctors and nurses of the 4077th M*A*S*H unit during the Korean War. The series was so popular that it outlasted the duration of the 3 year war, spanning 11 seasons and 251 episodes.

The strong characterisation and story lines presented thought provoking themes that provide an ideal platform for lessons on life and leadership. Whether you are a fan of the show or not, I'm sure you will connect with my leadership insights from M*A*S*H.

LEADING FROM THE TRENCHES features bite-sized, candid insights that speak into the gritty space of leadership through the eyes of a fellow leader seeking to "lead with all diligence" (Romans 12:8).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Change Of Calling?

Episode 56:  Life With Father

Father:    [Reading a letter from his sister] Kathy, Kathy, Kathy.                    How could you think of such a thing?
Henry:     [Bursting into Father Mulcahy’s tent] Father, I’ve got                    to talk to you about my wife.
Father:     My sister wants to leave the order…She’s such a        
            fantastic nun. I’d stack her up against any nun in the  
            business…God smiled on her from the start. Imagine a 
            basketball scholarship at the Holy Name Academy. She’s 
            been teaching. She loves children. Now she thinks she 
            might like one of her own…Now she wants my approval. I 
            don’t know what to tell her. I don’t know what to say.

Father Mulcahy is busy attending to the diverse spiritual needs of different faiths in the camp at the same time trying to come to terms with his sisters desire to leave the ministry.  While performing a circumcision on a Jewish baby he realises that the joy of motherhood is just as legitimate a calling for his sister.

There exists within my spirit a deep tension every time I hear about one of my colleagues leaving the ministry!  I cannot hide my disappointment in losing godly and competent leaders who exchange their calling or vocation for another direction.  Are they right or are they wrong?  That is not mine to judge!  My disappointment lies in the loss of good leaders who have the capacity to lead great change from within our organisation.  While there are many reasons why people change career paths or even pursue their calling through alternative pathways, I wonder how the following questions are reconciled:  Is a calling conditional upon circumstances?  Should our own purposes supersede a divine purpose?  When is it right to step outside of a covenant relationship?  In the context of Christian leadership Reggie McNeal asserts, “Christian leaders certain of their call allow it to become the centre of gravity for their life experiences.”  Whether your calling is secular or sacred it needs to be grounded upon a deep conviction that will remain steadfast through trials and resistant to the allure of other offers.

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