Fail Big or Fail Small

We have to be careful as pastors and leaders that we don’t doom those we lead to fail big. How do we do that? We doom people to fail big when we don’t allow them to fail small. If we are always rescuing someone eventually they start to depend on us instead of learning how to get out themselves.

Failing small is failing in ways that don’t damage the organization long term. Failing big is failing in things that change the future. When we rescue people before they can fail in small ways that help them take steps forward. If we don’t ever give enough trust and authority to people we create dependent people who eventually will fail.

Sometimes as leaders we feel like it’s easier to do it ourselves than to let someone else who can’t do it as good as we can do it themselves. When things go wrong we are tempted to jump in and rescue by taking it away from them. It’s often easier to take than it is to train. Taking might get the job done in the short term but training gives long term results. Taking the time to train is often more painful but allowing someone to feel the pain of failing in the end produces less pain.

Taking might get the job done in the short term but training gives long term results.

I think if this as a parent. If I do everything for my kids throughout their childhood and into their teen years I’m actually crippling them for adulthood. If I protect them from circumstances and the pain of failure I’m not preparing them. I have to find the balance of protecting and preparing. When I prepare them for life ultimately I’m protecting them for the long run. I allow my kids to fail in small ways when I’m around so that they learn and don’t fail in big ways when I’m not around.

The same goes for biblical leadership. If we do everything for our followers we doom them to fail when we’re not around. What are ways that you rescue people around you instead of allowing them to learn and grow? How have you fail forward in life?

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