OC12: The Emperor With No Clothes

During an afternoon OC12 breakout yesterday afternoon, Doug Fields talked about different areas in our ‘spiritual basement’ that need to be addressed from time to time – time, drive, study, spiritual strength, refreshment and calling.

Each one of these areas can drain a leader’s time and energy – and so, need to be challenged though intentional effort.

One comment reinforced a belief that I’ve held onto for a long time. He said:

“Invite authentic community into your life. Make it a top priority.”

He used those two sentences to address the area of driven-ness of a leader.

Photo credit: gege.gatt (Creative Commons)

Without authentic community, we are self-focused and don’t have people to keep us in check. Instead, intentionally invite people into your life.

Who do you have in your life asking you those tough questions / speaking into your life?

  • Why did you make that decision?
  • I’ve noticed this trend in your life – what’s up?
  • Dustin, man up and do ____!

If we don’t have those people in our lives to ask us those questions, Doug compared this to “emperor with no clothes” story – the Hans Christian Anderson children’s story where the Emperor parades around with clothes that are invisible.

Those around him don’t say anything because they think that if they say something, they are stupid and ignorant. The ridiculousness continues until a child shouts, “The Emperor has no clothes!”

Here is a story of a ‘leader’ who did not have people speaking into his life.

No community whatsoever.


So the challenge for us is this: Who have you intentionally invited into your life?



  • Nikki Weatherford

    April 27, 2012

    This is so true, but I think before we can bring people in who are going to speak truth to us, we have to stop being so easily offended. It’s one thing to surround ourselves with people who love us enough to ask the hard questions, but being able to take it and apply it is a completely different thing.

    I love the comparison to the “Emperor…” story. I’ve been in that spot, where I’ve had this “great” idea and I’ve shared it with others who (unwilling to hurt my feelings) encouraged me to run with it. Then later (after the big flop) I look back and think, “Wow, that was a terrible idea, why did no one tell me before I was standing in front of the crowd naked!” So yeah, good post. :-)

    • Dustin

      May 4, 2012

      Thanks Nikki- I appreciate your comment!

  • ThatGuyKC

    May 1, 2012

    I just recently finished a men’s bible study designed around the movie Courageous. Was an amazing experience in community. A bunch a men from all walks of life learning how to be great dads and encourage each other.

    And we ate really good. Every week was pizza, spaghetti or homemade chili. Men know how to eat.

    • Dustin

      May 4, 2012

      I like that – especially around food… makes community that much easier/natural, I feel.


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