Could you be in the DANGER ZONE and not even know it?
The DANGER ZONE is that period of time when a leader faces his or her greatest threat to finishing well. It’s the place where we lose most of the leaders.
Signs of the Danger Zone might surprise you. You may be in danger if:
– You are a leader who is gifted, able to perform tasks, lead meetings, do ministry, preach sermons and do all that is expected of a Christian leader, yet have plateau and arrested in your development. You have stopped growing. You have become a “religionist.”
– You are a leader who has begun to rest on his or her natural abilities, skills and past performances. You “wing it” and know it. You may never say it out-loud, but quietly you say “No thanks” to the challenges of growing deeper, and you refuse to intentionalize your own development.
– You are a leader whom God has begun to call deeper to new levels of healing and intimacy, but you are “too busy serving the Lord.” You have forsaken your love relationship with the Lord for all that you feel you must do in serving the Lord.
– You are a leader where life has begun to invade your life. You are facing a series of issues and life crisis that need to be addressed, yet you look the other way. The struggles can be physical, emotional, social, or marital. The circumstances of life are now obstacles to you as a person, but you refuse to stop and address what is apparent to others.
– You are a leader where ministry wounding has taken its toll, and has begun to isolate you, extinguish the passion that once burned deep, and for the first time it has left you to quietly consider doing something else.
In order to try to counter-act both the growing stagnation and frustration of the DANGER ZONE, leaders often medicate. There are various forms of medication; power (and its abuse), workaholic patterns, wealth, gadgets, possessions, inappropriate validation from relationships and more.
The DANGER ZONE is an actual point in the development of a leader. It can be seen as a point-in-time when viewing life from a lifetime perspective, and through the lens of the Generalized Time-line developed by Dr. J. Robert Clinton.
The DANGER ZONE occurs in the overlap of ministry maturing and life maturing. It often comes out of ministry proficiency; when ministry can be done without Jesus. It occurs when a leader knows the ropes, the language, and has the skills, but has not gone deeper. In the beginning God chases us. In the second half, we are called to chase Him.
Typically (but not always) this occurs somewhere near the mid-game in the life of a leader. We lose the greatest share of leaders who enter the DANGER ZONE, and then just disappear. These are good people. In fact, better men and women than you and I have become casualties of the DANGER ZONE
Are YOU in the DANGER ZONE… or do you see it up on the horizon? What can be done?
1. Get yourself to a place of honesty. You are only as accountable as you want to be. First there must be internal honesty before there can be the help of external accountability.
2. Get yourself someone to walk with you as coach and mentor. You will not breakthrough alone. New behavior comes as someone helps you work through the obstacles.
3. Get to the issues that you know you are not addressing. Stay on those issues, and close to those who can help you, until you are able to resolution. Often, a Spiritual Director or guide is needed, and potentially a counselor.
There are many good resources and people out there who can help you. It’s first not a question of resources as much as honesty. Will you stop and see things are they are. Forewarned, is potentially forearmed.
Here are some links to resources we offer (at Leader Breakthru) that have helped leaders in the DANGER ZONE: