You Can’t Come in at the Door





Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken

So High You Can’t Get Over It, So Wide You Can’t Get Around It,
So Low You Can’t Get Under It—But You CAN’T Go in at the Door

When I was a boy I used to go to a Good News Club in my neighborhood. A Good News Club is a weekly gathering for children in which they sing some memorable songs, do some fun things, hear a fascinating Bible story, and meet some wonderful caring adults. One song we sang goes like this: So high you can’t get over it, so wide you can’t get around it, so low you can’t get under it, You must go in at the door. The point of the song is that there’s a barrier between God and us that we cannot get past until we realize that Jesus really is the Door, the only way into a relationship with God.

I got that, and I committed to Jesus for my eternal relationship with God. But what I did not understand was that once I connected with God, there was another barrier that feels like a wall between me and obedience, and there is no door through it…

I have an eternal relationship with God, but I am powerless to live out that eternal relationship in my temporal experience. I call that the wall of inadequacy.

Now when I speak of inadequacy, I am not speaking clinically of psychological imbalance or professionally of skill lack; I am speaking spiritually of spiritual limitations. Most of the people I know are not psychologically limited or skill lacking. They have the tools they need to do what Jesus wants them to be and do, but all of us are totally unable to do what Jesus wants of us. He said so when He said, Without Me you can do nothing. He meant that literally. Fight these words and you live a futile life.

But many object that people all around us are doing great things apart from Christ. They’re successful, rich, famous, and powerful, and that is true. They don’t need Jesus to be what they want to be. Yet to live that way is to miss Jesus’ point. The Romans were successful, the Pharisees and Sadducees were successful, the Rich Young Ruler was successful, Saul, the apostle in waiting, was successful. Jesus doesn’t measure life by success the way we do; He measures life by fruitfulness the way the Father does. He is talking about being fruitful, not successful, and He is saying that without Him we can do nothing of eternal value. That’s what He means by nothing. All we can do will die. And our hearts innately know this. Our hearts ache with the pain of death, and that constant ache echoes in our souls and fills us with a sense of emptiness and futility. That’s what it feels like to hit the wall of inadequacy and that’s is what sends us searching for a way to get over it or around it or under it, but the higher we climb, the higher the wall gets and the long we walk, the longer the wall gets and the deeper we dig, the deeper the wall gets.

So what can we do about the wall of inadequacy? We’ll look at this next time when we consider Wall Breakers Anonymous. See you at the wall of inadequacy.

From "You Can't Come in at the Door" on (Click to read more blog posts) Broken Leadership Blog is about changing the leadership conversation from what we are doing with our hands to what God is doing through our hearts.


Bill Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International, Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary where he served full-time for twenty-four years (1981-2005). During this time he also was the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership for twelve years.

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