But I did have one, a love nest. Back in college. Kirk and I did. We lofted our beds on either side, put an early rummage sofa under one side and my newly acquired stereo with turntable and 3 way floor shakers on the other, next to the 13″ tv and VCR. We never had any girls in the love nest but our music was loud and we watched plenty of Arnold or Stallone movies.
I’m not talking about that kind of nest, tho. However much fun that might be. I am talking about the kind of nest leaders create out of love so the amazing people they work with not only survive, but flourish and thrive.
God created the first love nest.
In Genesis chapter 1. Read it, I’ll wait. Genesis 1 really isn’t about science. Sorry. It really isn’t about the number of days for creation – again, sorry. But keep reading. The account of creation is so much more than that. It confronted a worldview at the time of its writing that didn’t know of “a creator.” And, it describes the purpose of all that was created. A love nest for leadership.
Looking carefully we see the progression in chapter 1 of creating space with light and dark, the separating of waters so there could be atmosphere, the gathering of water and land into a planet (we call it Earth), vegetation to support animal life. And all of this to create the perfect nest, or environment, where those made in the image of God would do much more than survive. Where they would live fully human lives according to their design.
Then God blessed them and gave them this directive, “… I make you trustees of my estate, so care for my creation…” (from The Voice, Gen 1:28)
Out of his extravagant love, God created the perfect nest, environment and culture, for mankind to thrive doing what they were created for – stewarding creation by working and caring for it. A space, the garden, where they (we?) lived intimately with God and one another in the midst of tending to the work of creation.
The first job in the first workplace, a co-op of sorts, with God at the center.
Good leaders also create Love Nests
Good leaders, especially Christian leaders, creatively impact their organizations by partnering with God and others in developing love nests, environments, that foster a culture of willing and acting for the good of their community of co-workers, for their organization and for those the organization serves. Good leaders do this intentionally and usually very naturally.
In Genesis it is clear that God took great care in creation because of his perfect love. Good leaders also love. They love the people they work for and with in order to achieve a greater purpose.
In the church I serve (and I hope in my family and other places of influence), I want to create those kinds of environments. Places where those I minister alongside can risk greatly, live fully and flourish together in community. I know I don’t always get it right – especially when I let anxiety make me stupid – but at the end of the day, as a leader I want those around me to know they are loved and have the freedom to creatively live into their callings.