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Leadership Eclipse

Monday, some friends and I drove a couple of hours to witness totality—the full eclipse of the sun. It was spectacular.

We stood outside of a Starbucks in awe.


As the eclipse began, our shadows lost their usual fine-point outlines and took on a fuzzy edge. While we watched the moon slowly creep in front of the sun through our cardboard glasses, the moment of the total eclipse allowed us a few minutes to view it with our naked eyes.  The blazing rim outlined an absurd black hole in the sky, with Venus and Jupiter flanked to the right and left. The sky turned dark, the temperature dropped, and the entire horizon took on a faint 360-degree sundown.


It was all strange and wonderful.


But for me, one of the most remarkable aspects was though only a tiny sliver of the sun remained just before and after totality, the earth was still remarkably bright. As my brother-in-law later said in a text, “The sun is a beast.” All it took was the slightest speck of the sun to fill our Starbucks parking lot with color and light.


The metaphor wasn’t lost on me.


After the resurrection, the disciples were stunned by the cosmic impact of Jesus. John caught his universality when he writes:


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  JOHN 1:1-5


The Son is a beast.


 A few years after the resurrection, the anti-Christ militant Saul runs headlong into a vision of the Messiah that changes the arc of his life. Like staring at an eclipse, he’s blinded for a time—it was simply too much power and light for the retinas of his soul.


Changing his name to Paul, he would later write:


The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. . . . For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form…   COLOSSIANS 1:15-17, 2:9


The Son is a beast.


As leaders, we must design our efforts and communications along the lines of “getting out of the way” so the brightness of Jesus instead captures people’s sense of awe. Like the moon, we’re at our best when we’re reflecting instead of blocking. Over the years I’ve thought about the times that I blocked his grace and power out of my own sense of entitlement, cleverness, or need.


The Son is a beast. Lead...but get out of the way.


Are there any ways your leadership—or lack thereof—cause you to block his power? Just the slightest slice of his glory brings color back into the room. Are we allowing that to happen, or are we eclipsing his radiance?



Dave Workman | The Elemental Group


Did you know The Elemental Group also works extensively with faith-based non-profits? Everything from fundability assessments to strategic planning to business development to grant-writing. Take a look at our menu of servicesfor both churches and non-profits at our website—an impressive scope of work along with clear, accessible pricing. Now that’s different!


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