Joan and I are at the Spire Conference in Orlando. We attended a session with Brad Lomenick, a speaker, author and leadership advisor.  The topic was how leadership is changing with each generation.

Two things Brad said resonated with me.  One is the need for authenticity. This means that we share who we are, both the good and the difficult.

The other statement is those Generation Z (the generation just coming into their working years) are failure averse.

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Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

The good news for those of us in disability ministry is that we have a unique opportunity to help the church work through these challenges. As people with disabilities, we understand failure, and don’t have the opportunity to avoid it. Our bodies fail every day. When one becomes involved with a person with a disabilty,  one begins to understand how to overcome barriers and how to rebound from things that don’t work (failure) . One learns that failure leads to suffering, and suffering leads to spiritual growth.

CS Lewis once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

A note to my fellow leaders:  You can see my wheelchair. Those who follow you need to see yours. 

All of us have things in our lives that we would prefer to keep hidden, things we prefer not be noticed, things we would trade away if we could. There are days I would trade my wheelchair, or my disability. I can’t.  When I say people need to see your wheelchair there are people in your sphere of influence who need to see a glimpse of those areas you wish you could hide or get rid of  but can’t. People need to see that and identify. Our disabilites are the platform that God wants to use to flow His grace in to your life and the lives of others. wheelchair-users-2814628_1280

One thought on “Authenticity, Disability and Leadership

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