Friday, January 11, 2008

In praise of Don "The Ninja" Crawford

Last weekend our executive/lead pastor, Don Crawford stepped down. Don's been serving in various capacities with LPC/The Place for over 8 years and his resignation, while on good terms, is a sad one to accept.

There will most likely be other posts on other days to wax/rant/dream about what the loss of his "position" will/could mean, but for the purposes of this post, I simply wanted to salute a man I deeply admire.

The thing I most appreciated about Don over the past few years that I've known/worked with him is his ability to work from the shadows. His ability to affect change - to move things forward or slow them down - without drawing any attention to himself, earned him the title "Executive Ninja" in my books.

He took "behind-the-scenes" to new levels and inasmuch was able to steer our community through some of it's toughest times to date.

The guy could plant seeds like nobody's business, and his subversive approach to leading by actually leading was always an inspiration to me. He could've tried being the loudest or the best dressed, but he opted to gently nudge, suggest, hint, smile, frown, furrow-the-brow, dream, share and encourage instead. You hardly knew he was doing it, but time and time again I was privy to witness how his delicate approach could grease the squeakiest wheel or freeze the most raging fire.

I'm sure I'll have more to say in other forums, but I wanted to get my intial thanks out before too long had passed.

Don: we'll miss you for sure - thanks for leading the way.

3 comments:

the weary pilgrim said...

James what a great tribute...to be able to lead through transition, devastion and confusion takes extraordinary leadership. Some can lead pushing and yelling from the back, but to lead in the midst of the storm takes that Christ-like leadership.Some would walk away but to get the community safely to the otherside...shows a profound love for Lambrick, and The Place.
Thanks for showing us all The Way...may you be blessed wherever your journey leads you. Peace...Ron Cole

Kyle Martin said...

wow i had no idea.

although i don't know him extremely well, what i do know i respect and am sad to see you guys lose a great leader.

Jay said...

I'm just reading this post a year and a half down the road. But it says true things about that man. Glad to add my "yah, you bet."
Jay Gurnett