“Tasks are performed better when they are chosen instead of assigned. Create an atmosphere in which people get to choose the things they like to work on.” Antwerp Management School
When first reading and thinking about this thought, the idea stood out as powerful and profound. Consider the affect the idea of choosing instead of assigning can have within the spiritual development and work of the church.
Avoid the tendency of asking for volunteers (never really works any way). Instead, learn what excites people to work in areas they enjoy and find ways that allow them to make the choice.
As we are aware, simply assigning people to do a task develops a more dictator style of leadership, which rarely works in a “volunteer” organization and can have adverse consequences.
Perhaps, just maybe, if we think more seriously about what needs to be done and learn the areas where people love to work, we can design (create an atmosphere) a program, task, or project that engages people to make a choice that helps reach the desired result. The bonus? Growth!
Each year at this time, a course on Biblical Leadership begins. The overall depth of the class evolved from numerous sources and much help from long-time leaders.
Over the next few weeks, we will look at several areas characterizing biblical leaders, beginning with - they know God and His will.
One post will never cover the depth of this concept. Jesus prayed with the thought that eternal life is wrapped up in knowing God (Jn. 17:3).
Peter speaks of the necessity of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (2 Pet. 3:18).
Paul’s thought to the church at Philippi captures a greater depth of knowing God. He was willing to give up everything and consider it worthless to know Jesus, “the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10).
The word translated “know” in this context involves the deepest form of knowing by personally experiencing the same. The idea represents a powerful thought and example for us to consider for our own biblical leadership. Do we know God and His will?
Few steps in leadership are more difficult than stepping aside.
The continuous battle for leaders is doing the work themselves. We tend to think if the job is going to get done right, then we might as well do it ourselves.
This mindset, however, will not yield the development of others in leadership. We find this true at ever level, and it is certainly the case within the church.
Consistent to a majority of leadership development material, the idea of multiplying or duplicating leaders is critical to the growth and success of any organization.
Biblically, Jesus went about with the same purpose. Thus, we find the apostles involved in the same activity of leadership development.
In order for leaders to step aside, they must deal with pride. They must learn to allow others to make the same mistakes they made in the beginning. They must trust in the process.
Again, stepping aside is not easy to do, but if the church is to have leaders to serve as elders, deacons, teachers, preachers, etc., then this step is essential. The benefits far outweigh the challenges.
While a number of definitions are found for this week’s word, the main idea behind direction is the course taken to reach a destination.
A number of significant words related to leadership are associated with direction, for example: guidance, control, rule, requirement, command, and regulation.
Our intent is not to look at each of these as they might connect to leadership, but rather to consider each word as it relates to a few questions.
What steps are needed to establish a consistent direction to reach our goal? Formulating steps provides direction for everyone involved in the project.
Do we, as leaders, know the direction necessary to accomplish the desired goal? If the answer is no, then we need to evaluate what we are doing and where we are going.
Is the direction clear enough for others to understand and follow to reach the desired goal? Again, if the answer is no, then we need to consider how to communicate the direction more effectively.
These three questions are only the beginning to determining the right direction. Having direction is essential for reaching our destination.
Our final personality trait is the Phlegmatic. We want to be like them, not having a care in the world. “Laid back” is an understatement. One might think they have never done anything useful in their life. However, a little investigation reveals they get more done in a day than anybody because they do not engage in anything unnecessary.
When a Phleg is motivated, they are the best workers because they are not heard from, either complaint or question. They are steady, loyal, hard working, quiet, and rarely get riled.
They can be lazy when unattended or unmotivated, and being a self-starter is not in their vocabulary. They can drag others down the same road when people look for the wrong person to follow. When the job is done they will not look for anything else to do, unless given strict instructions. The path of least resistance is found everyday.
When motivated, however, they turn this negative into a positive by finding better and cheaper ways to do the job. They need direction. Let’s help them find the right direction by leading and serving.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Johnny Cash
The thought today is directly related to an idea expressed by Paul in Philippians 3:13-14. While Paul was not necessarily focused on failure, when forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, the implication is connected.
Of all people who might allow the past to hinder their forward movement in the cause of Christ, Paul is near the top, if not at the top, of the list.
However, the key to remember with today’s thought is that we cannot live in or change the past. We must learn from it, good and bad. We must use our time, energy, and space to move forward in the development of a future that leads others spiritually. We build on the failures and improve our direction.
A revolution carries different meanings, depending on the individual listening.
On one hand, the idea of a revolution is an overthrow of a government or social order to be replaced by a new system. The American Revolution is only one of many identified throughout history.
On the other hand, the idea includes revolving around or orbiting another object. We associate the idea with the number of times a planet revolves around the sun or a moon around a planet.
Both ideas can be associated with the role of leaders. There are times when leaders need a revolution, a means to replace the current system with a new one. Spiritually speaking, this revolution occurred in the first century with the beginning of Christianity. Not only was there a replacement of the Jewish system, but Christianity replaced “all” systems.
Additionally, the revolution of one object around another indicates the power of consistent endurance. Regardless of the challenges, a sense of tenacity exists and strengthens when consistently enduring to reach the goal.
The ideas express a beautiful picture of Christians who understand the need for one more revolution.