Saturday, July 14, 2007

Stiff necks

For some reason I can't explain (other than advancing age) my neck has been stiff the past few days. I'm not sure if it's muscular or if I'm in need of a chiropractic adjustment of subluxations, but it is uncomfortable. I can't turn my head like I would like, so my peripheral vision is impaired.

I've been trying to stretch the muscles, but that's painful, too.

God called the stubborn wandering Israelites a "stiff-necked people" (KJV) because they wouldn't be stretched. As a result of their stubborness, they lacked the ability to see with the eyes of faith and vision that Moses possessed. And it frustrated God and Moses immensely.

One of the challenges of leadership is stretching. The leader has to be stretched at times or he loses sight of the big picture. Those being led need stretching, too, or they will want to be stationary or will retreat. Unfortunately the stretching is usually accompanied with pain. But no pain....

Right now I'm being stretched as God puts a "holy discontent" within my heart. Like my stiff neck, it's really frustrating me. And I want those who lead with me to experience that same stretching so that we can as a team stretch those who follow. The ability (or probably lack of it) to effectively communicate vision and motivate others to own it has me in pain.

I know what's ahead. In the words of Clubber Lang in Rocky III when asked his prediction for the fight against the champ: "You want my prediction? Pain!" But after the pain of stretching a renewed vision will move us into new ministry, mission and growth.

In the meantime I'll take an Advil or two.

1 comment:

Frank Honess said...

Pastor Rick,

I appreciate your latest blog! I'm a student pastor for a church in Delaware and I've just started a week's vacation here in Rodanthe, NC. I felt the call to full-time ministry when I was saved 8 years ago. Your comment about stiff necks was a bit painful, but sometimes those insights sting a little :)

I wanted to added a note to what you said near the end of your blog: I was listening to a teaching on leadership by Andy Stanley, and he said that one of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to "compromise our integrity for the sake of progress." This was pretty powerful because we as leaders love "forward movement", but we have all dealt with the temptation of compromising our integrity for the sake of getting ahead -- even when it seems like a God-thing. He used the story from David's life when David could have killed Saul in the cave but chose not to. Powerful stuff!

I was thinking about checking you guys out while on vacation. I have a MySpace account in case you decided to comment or message back (

Great to see the Lord doing amazing things at Nags Head Church!!!

God Bless,

Frank Honess
Pastor to Students
Dagsboro Church of God
Dagsboro, Delaware