“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” Douglas MacArthur
Three words stand out in the first thought expressed by MacArthur: confidence, courage, and compassion. Each of these qualities is a vital part of developing the type of leaders needed within the church.
The last thought expressed is one of the most powerful in establishing true spiritual leadership. The one word that stands out concerning the thought of aligning one’s actions with intent is integrity.
If leaders today will demonstrate the type of qualities identified by MacArthur, along with the integrity to demonstrate and stand behind those qualities, their leadership will always have the strength to point others to the God who brought them to this position.
Few areas of leadership take greater priority than developing the type of character that possesses and demonstrates the integrity behind these qualities.
During my life, especially when viewing my children and grandchildren, I can relate strongly to the idea of looking for and awaiting answers for the various trials experienced in life.
Fear, anxiety and frustration can take control quickly. However, we can eliminate these concerns when we learn where to go to find the needed answers during such times.
This raises a needed question when talking about leadership. Where do leaders go to find answers?
When adversity occurs, where will the answers be found?
When questions arise, how will the answers be discovered?
Leadership involves providing guidance, direction, encouragement, support, and knowing how to give answers to help others overcome their fears, anxiety and frustration. Where can a leader go to find the answers?
Prayer is always a good place to start.
Spend time listening to God’s word.
Counsel the wisdom of others.
Learn the value of trusting in others.
Admit mistakes when they occur.
Never miss the opportunity to learn. The more we learn the more we are prepared to provide answers for the questions plaguing others.
As I have written in the past, I am not here to speak for or against anyone within political positions of government.
Regardless of where you or I position ourselves politically, recent developments within the legislative and administrative system of our country have raised several questions about leadership.
I have been fascinated with a number of quotes and principles stated regarding leadership and what happens when leadership fails to be trustworthy.
One primary thought I have heard for several years, indicative of the past few weeks, is “everything rises and falls on leadership.”
On more than one occasion I have heard various news reporters express the idea of accountability. Specifically, one analyst expressed that what leaders must do when mistakes are made is confess the mistake, take responsibility, and let the chips fall where they may.
A number of ideas could be considered and over the next few weeks we will examine several areas describing what happens when leadership fails.
Leaders will experience failure. How leaders strategically maneuver during these times determines the level of trust to be gained or lost by those who follow.
More next week…
What a powerful word! The idea is one of standing firmly, the quality of relentless determination. Leaders will always have to face and endure attacks from opposition. At and during these times, leaders will need to be tenacious. When leaders have tenacity in relationship to the truth, spiritual development will always result.
Think for a moment about the nature and application of this word to leadership.
When talking about how to face challenges, leaders hold tenacity.
When working through personal problems, leaders demonstrate tenacity.
When establishing the direction ahead, leaders portray tenacity.
When developing the plans for the future, leaders lead with tenacity.
When needing to achieve the goals set before the group, leaders carry tenacity.
When seeking guidance to make tough decisions, leaders exemplify tenacity.
Developing the persistent character of tenacity, i.e. pursuing a solution until it is successful, takes time. Leaders who possess tenacity lead with perseverance and lay a foundation to bring success.
Tenacity is a powerful word and one that deserves our time as leaders to develop in leading others to spiritual growth.
These two words can often represent a thin line when determining various practices facing leadership.
There is a difference in practices that make me uncomfortable versus being unscriptural.
The challenge is recognizing the difference, but how?
Know the book. When knowledge of God’s word is weak, leaders will not know if something is Biblical or not. While it may seem obvious, the foundation needed is knowing the book!
Seek wisdom through prayer. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools and too often neglected. I am not talking about a prayer before a meeting, but a “without ceasing” approach to seeking God’s help on decisions.
Ask the right questions. What does the Bible say about this matter, or is it silent? Is this practice traditional? Should it be continued? How will a change effect the church? When and how should this be discussed with the church?
Be patient. No decision should be made in one meeting. Study, pray, and ask the right questions. Give it time, but be careful not to procrastinate.
Following a few guidelines will help leaders make the right decision on matters that are unscriptural versus uncomfortable.
“I find a leadership lesson in the experience of helping the church heal. Leaders cannot allow themselves to see people as groups, as factions; we must see them individually. As leaders, we may preach to a congregation, but we teach one soul at a time. For, we never know which one might become the next leader.” Paul Myers
There is no way to expound on Paul’s thoughts and improve this powerful thought. Helping the church heal must be a priority of spiritual leadership.
Recognizing the individual nature behind Paul’s thought is also significant to the spiritual development of the church.
The statement I want to highlight for the thought today is the last; “we never know which one might become the next leader.” When I read this a second time it really stood out to me how important the one soul at a time approach is to leadership development.
We may proclaim the word of God to multitudes of people, but leadership is developed through the transformation of one soul at a time.
Have you considered which one might be the next leader where you are serving?
How should we define “spiritual leadership?” Realizing there are numerous possibilities to answering this question, perhaps the best approach is to consider a biblical response.
Here are 10 scriptural ways to help define spiritual leaders. Spiritual leaders…
1) Move people to be more like God.
2) Rely on the blood of Christ.
3) Work to accomplish the will of God.
4) Encourage the fainthearted.
5) Admonish the unruly.
6) Strengthen the weak.
7) Seek first the kingdom of God.
8) Pray without ceasing.
9) Search the scriptures daily.
10) Trust fully in the working of God.
These are only 10 suggestions, but they take a lifetime to develop in leadership. God’s word challenges us to grow into the spiritual leader He wants and needs us to be for the sake of the saved and lost.