For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
I love All Saints Day. I love the exercise of reflecting back on those who have come before us and the challenges they faced and the difference they made. As I look back in my family, community, congregation, denomination, and the organizations with which I work, it becomes clear that we really are standing on the shoulders of giants -- everyday saints who made a difference for me personally and for the institutions I serve and the community in which I live.
This got me thinking about those of us who are leading our organizations and communities now. What will future generations think about our leadership and the choices we make? Will they feel like we were the giants that the world needed? When I view leadership and governance through that lens, it really changes my perspective. For me, it is a call to action.
Every not-so-exciting meeting becomes an opportunity for implementing strategic opportunities; every board retreat becomes a chance to change the world. It is a tremendous opportunity to build our institutions and lead them into the future.
In “I Sing a Song for the Saints of God,” one of my favorite hymns, we hear about all the everyday places we can meet the saints of God. I bet we can meet them (and become them) in the board room, too. For the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too.