The leader interprets what's happening.
We saw this really clearly as we studied Acts 2 together this week. In one swoop, the Holy Spirit descends on the gathered believers and empowers them for mission. A crowd begins to gather, everyone looking for interpretation for what's happening. Curiousity is swelling. What will happen?
Some start interpreting away the work of the Holy Spirit. "Those folks speaking in tongues ... they're just drunk and babbling." This interpretation could create distance between them and this strange, unusual work of God. But it didn't spread.
Have you ever wondered why the "they're just drunk" interpretation didn't squelch the move of God at Pentecost? Probably not, if you've ever read Acts 2. Because Peter gets up ...
Peter provides another interpretation of what's going on. "These people aren't drunk, as you suppose. It's only 9 in the morning! This is what the prophet Joel promised ... ".
Peter's interpretation of what was happening won out for three reasons: it better explained what was happening, it was kinder and more generous, and it resonated with the curiousity of the crowd.
As leaders, we need to become excellent interpreters of the world around us.
"That 'No' you heard for your funding request was actually a 'Not Now'"
"That conflict with your student leader means he understands how you're challenging him"
"That prayer that doesn't seem answered ... look at it this way ..."
Great leaders provide clear, generous, compelling interpretations of the ministry.
Where do you need to provide some interpretation?