Leading Through Failures

Failures will either sideline us from future usefulness or motivate us for current development. We will make mistakes, but we don’t have to let them define us.

The Question: Why do you think past mistakes keep us from future opportunities?

The Problem

  • Regret is a dangerous feeling that keeps us fixated on our failures and fearful of the future.
  • Our culture cancels people after making certain mistakes while celebrating defiant disobedience in other areas.
  • If we don’t discover how to learn from our failures, we are destined to surrender to another one – immobility.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” –Francis Chan

The Example (1 Kings 18:17-19:19)

  • The king characterized Elijah as a cultural troublemaker for being committed to biblical truth (18:17).
  • In isolation, Elijah was willing to take a stand for God and against idolaters due to his immense faith (18:22).
  • God showed up in a powerful way (18:38), and Jezebel promised to retaliate against Elijah (19:2).
  • Hours after an incredible show of God’s power, Elijah is fearful and suicidal (19:3-4).
  • God knows discouraged people well enough to know we need both our physical and spiritual needs addressed (19:5-9).
  • After Elijah’s failure, God still expected him to finish well (19:15-19).

The Adjustment

  • Listen to God – God speaks even after the spectacles cease.
  • Finish the Task – Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you can’t get back up to complete God’s assignments.
  • Invest in Another – An effective leader who does not prepare someone to lead in his absence is selfishly short-sighted.
  • Surround with Support – Isolated leaders may experience incredible moments but will not know the power of longevity.

Great leaders are not those immune from failures but those inoculated from repeating them.