It made me rethink a popular character for all generations in the last 70 years, Batman. The article is specifically talking about the movie "Batman Begins" and is discussing a lesson of leadership given to us through the movie. It discusses how Batman is successful not so much because of his tremendous fighting skills, or his numerous gadgets, but because of the people he surrounds himself with. The author specifically mentions James Gordon, Lucius Fox, and Alfred Pennyworth. Of course Alfred is the prime example as the one person who knows his secret from the beginning and assists him in everything from cooking and cleaning to preparing the bat cave and protecting his secret. Alfred does everything that he can to protect Bruce Wayne and support Batman.
Growing up almost all little boys, and some girls as well, want to be Batman at some point. Sure some prefer Spider-Man or Superman but the premise is the same, they want to be the hero. They want to be the guy with the cool suit that stops the bad guys. I personally was always a fan of Wolverine from the X-men but trust me I would've loved to be Batman too. This is an idea that is passed on from generation to generation to the point that I currently see my nephews dress up like Batman whenever they get a chance. But how many kids have we seen dressed up like Alfred?
In the story of Batman it can pretty safely be said that there would not be a Batman without an Alfred. Without Alfred, Bruce Wayne would have never had the strength to focus his anger to the point of creating Batman and even if he had he probably would've have died fairly early on without Alfred looking out for him and taking care of his wounds. Then when Bruce gets frustrated and wants to throw it all away, or wants to do something stupid out of anger, it is Alfred that snaps him out of it and brings him back to focus. Without Alfred Bruce Wayne would be simply a depressed, angry, orphaned, misguided, billionaire. When you really think about it Alfred is the true hero.... But everyone wants to be Batman.
In life there are too many people wanting to be Batman and not enough people wanting to be Alfred. Everyone wants to be the one in the front lines, the one with the cool costume that everyone knows. The one who is called out personally when the job is too big for everyone else and we do need those kind of people at times but those people, need Alfred. They need someone who's willing to stay behind the scenes, who's willing to do all the little things, and who's willing to tell them straight when it's needed.
This is especially true with Christian ministry. When people contemplate going into the ministry they generally think of things like preaching, singing, or performing. Or they may think about writing a book that is read by thousands. We think about people like Billy Graham, Kenneth Hagin, or even out local pastor. But how many big time preachers, Batmans, have we seen fall due to a lack of Alfreds surrounding them? How many times have we seen a big name preacher get exposed in sin because they never had someone to keep them accountable, to speak the truth in love? How many times have we seen preachers or pastors get burnt out because they are trying to do everything on their own, they don't have anyone to share the load?