A CounterPOINT is a "contrasting but parallel element, item or theme." For example, in music, a counterpoint would show up in what we hear as a harmony. Two or more people singing the same note but at a different pitch to create a harmony. In art it would show up as opposite colors that complement each other to form a picture like dark red and yellow for example. In a book it may appear as two story lines that seem completely opposite but in some way are connected.
Finally, in leadership, it would show up in contrasting yet complementing thoughts and ideas. Our thinking moves from "this OR that" to "this AND that.” Author Jim Collins would call it the "Tyranny of the OR - The genius of the AND." As leaders we must ponder the CounterPOINT and hold the belief that we can live with seemingly contradictory ideas or thoughts at the same time.
If you haven't arrived at this point yet, take courage, you will, eventually. The breaking point is that very moment when, before God, you realize He is all you need and, He is all you have. Friends may abandon you, family may abandon you but God, God will never abandon you.
This could very well be the toughest point for a leader to ponder. It may not be the most welcomed point but it's certainly the most potent. God's power is made perfect in the weak moments, in the difficult moments, in the hopeless moments. When you are at your breaking point God's power is at it’s starting point. He brings strength, He brings grace, He brings redemption.
You may feel like Job did when he was at a breaking point, "I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. 'But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.'" Job 23:8-10 NLT
At what point is to many, to much? At what point is to much, to many? I don't know the answer but it seems like there are reasonable StoppingPOINTs in life. Where does our sphere of influence stop and where does someone else begin? Is a bigger church a better church? Is a bigger bank account a better bank account? If the answer is yes then there is no need for a StoppingPOINT
Here's a thought to think about. Should I stop something if it's going really well? If a program is doing well and we are seeing amazing growth and depth in those attending should we let it go gangbusters? Should we manage the growth? Should we bring it to a halt? Something to think about and a leadership point worth pondering.
"Craig, you just wrote about a stopping point so why talk about a QuittingPOINT?" Great question, thanks for asking. I actually think there is a difference between a QuittingPOINT and StoppingPOINT. A QuittingPOINT arrives before a StoppingPOINT. A StoppingPOINT is a naturally planned end to a plan. A QuittingPOINT is a good reason to stop before you actually arrive at your planned end.
Occasionally there is a great reason to abandon your plan or simply quit something. Most of us have been taught that quitting is for the weak, I disagree, it's for the strong. I'm not talking about giving up because you don't have the courage to see your plan through I'm talking about having the courage to quit because you know it's not working or God's not in it. Certainly something to ponder.
A pilot friend of mine told me that A WayPOINT is a fixed point or location in physical space. I know, I still didn’t understand what it meant either. I forged on, “Why do we have WayPOINTS?” I asked. “When flying an airplane we fly to fixed positions (navigation) given to us by the flight controller at the airport so we can eventually arrive safely at our destination.”
With all of the airplane traffic, especially around busy airports, it is essential that pilots fly to the prescribed WayPOINTS in order to avoid collisions and accidents and to insure safe arrival for everyone. Isn’t that true of leadership as well?
On our journey we want to fly to the prescribed WayPOINTs given to us by our creator. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Self-Control to name a few. When we fly to these points we will arrive safely at our intended destination avoiding relational collisions and accidents along the way.
Which specific POINT do you need to PONDER today?
For me it would be the QuittingPOINT. I need to know when to stop one thing and start another and determine when God is telling me to abandon my plan. How about you?
Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/edrost88/9529556832/">Erik Daniel Drost</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>