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Must Leaders Be Lonely?

The upside of loneliness is that it puts me in touch with my own needs — my need of God, my need of love, my need of other people.
— Ben Patterson

We were gathered in my living room, and the committee meeting had just started when Cliff, one of our board members, took me aside and asked if we could talk privately. We went into my study. My desk lamp was the only light in the room, so a shadowy gloom surrounded us. As it turned out, the gloom was entirely appropriate to what Cliff had to say.

"I don't believe in mincing words," he began stiffly, "so I'll just come out with it. I'm resigning from the board, and I'm taking my family out of the church."

"Why?" I asked, stunned.

"You and I haven't agreed on much since this church began," Cliff continued. "We just keep stepping on each other's toes. I need to be where I can support the pastor and the direction of the church. And you need to have people on your team who back your leadership. This is for your good as well as mine."

That hurt. Cliff ...

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