Leaders are Pot-Stirrers

A number of years ago, I stopped on a channel long enough to catch part of the movie, Runaway Bride. In one particular scene, the “runaway bride” (played by Julia Roberts) yelled at a reporter (played by Richard Gere). The reporter made her life difficult by writing in a newspaper column about her practice of running away from weddings. At one point, while looking for a name to call the reporter, she came up with “pot-stirrer.”

It was intended negatively, but I have embraced it as a great metaphor for leaders. Leaders are pot-stirrers!

Leaders are not called to maintain the status quo or to allow people to remain in their comfort zones. Leaders are not tasked with keeping things running smoothly. Leaders are called to lead people (including themselves) out of their comfort zones. And that requires stirring the pot!

Jesus certainly stirred the pot. In fact, Jesus was the master pot-stirrer. He was always stirring the pot—so much so, that it landed him in hot water with the religious leaders of his day. Think about it. If Jesus would have only laid low on sabbath days (not to mention all of the other subversive activity he engaged in), things would have gone so much smoother, right? But Jesus was a pot-stirrer!

Today, it’s more important than ever that leaders called by God stir the pot. Without pot-stirring leadership, the church won’t be engaged in mission in the world, lives won’t be changed, and the world won’t be transformed. The mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world requires leaders who are pot-stirrers.

In my next post, I will suggest some ways that leaders stir the pot. In the meantime, I encourage you to review the tremendous statements by Bishop Hee-Soo Jung on leadership that I quoted in my post on the book, The Future of The United Methodist Church.

Have you embraced your call to be a pot-stirrer?

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