Christianity can be lonely. Our convictions can exile us from friends and family. Our standards may cost us our jobs, and can therefore feel very unrewarding to us. As people who should refuse to back down from truth, we will be persecuted. It seems that Sachin H. Jain, writing for the Harvard Business Review sees that the same could be said about leaders leading change in a large organization. In his article titled Coping Techniques for Lonely Change Leaders he acknowledges that when doing what is right for an organization involves changing that organization, there is little gratification, and “often can be a lonely existence” (Jain). He suggests that to avoid demise one must 1.) Maintain conviction 2.) Avoid haters, 3.) Cultivate a support system, and 4.) Celebrate success. I’d say each coping technique can be tweaked a bit to wonderfully encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who feel like they are fighting a losing battle of the faith. They should maintain conviction by being constantly refreshed by the Word of God (Psalm 119:105). They should avoid haters in the sense that they should not cast their pearls before swine (Matt 7:6) or be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14). They should cultivate a support system by dedicating themselves to a biblically solid church family (Hebrews 10:25). They should celebrate in every circumstance for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (1 Thess. 5:16-18).
Sachin closes by saying, “Yet the work is sometimes frustrating — with rewards that often are not apparent. Building the personal reserve to cope with and manage through the inevitable challenges that one will encounter in these settings will be the difference between making merely an incremental mark and leading lasting change.” What joy and peace we have; though we can resonate with the first statement, a second statement for us can look very different. We have a different purpose and hope. We can say, “Yet the work is sometimes frustrating — with rewards that often are not apparent. With confident faith in the goodness of God and peace rooted in his sovereignty, the ability to cope with and manage the inevitable challenges that one will encounter in these settings will be the difference between merely living life, and living an abundant life for the glory and honor of the God we so dearly love.”