“No matter where life takes you — big cities, small towns — you will inevitably run across small minds. People who think they are better than you, people who think that being pretty or popular automatically makes you a worthwhile human. None of these things matter as long as you have a strength of character, integrity… sense of pride. So when you meet someone for the first time, don’t judge them by their situation in life, because you never know, they may end up being your very best friend.” Joey Potter
The “layers of this onion” could be peeled back on numerous levels. Potter addresses so many areas that demand our attention, one post could not cover them all.
We are all aware of the validity of these statements, but one primary thought from this quote is essential to our leadership: strength of character.
Character is often the topic of posts, and the expression of character in the midst of this thought is significant to understanding the position, attitude, and activity of godly leaders.
Focusing on character development, as based on previous posts, will increase the credibility of our leadership.
We continue to examine areas of biblical leadership necessary for developing solid leaders for the future of the Lord’s church. Another vital component in this process is total faith.
The emphasis on faith throughout the Bible is more than obvious. God’s relationship with His people in the Old and New Testaments is based and built upon the same: faith!
Hebrews 11, often claimed to be the “hall of fame of faith,” is one chapter that, coupled with chapter 12:1-3, gives a picture of total faith.
Beginning with a definition, followed by identification, application, and concluding with illumination, we could not have a better perspective of the faith needed on the part of every leader.
Faith elicits trust on the part of leadership, motivates leaders to act with confidence, and it sustains a perseverance that has an eye on only one thing: “a city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
The perfecting nature of our leadership is strengthened by the quality of our faith. Let us all nurture a total faith based on the word of God and His unfailing promises.
The bigger picture of discipline focuses on the importance of understanding “self-discipline.” Paul’s letters accompany the teaching of Jesus by emphasizing the necessity of discipline. He spoke of fathers disciplining their children, God disciplining those whom He loves, and the emphasis upon disciplining our own bodies.
Continuing to look at areas that shape the development of discipline in our lives, we find the need to challenge and eliminate our excuses.
Whether we talk about leaders or followers, there is a great tendency to make excuses why we are not getting involved or accomplishing a task.
When this happens we must challenge and eliminate those excuses. A common thought is expressed in the statement, “Anything that comes after a ‘but’ is an excuse.”
How true is it that we often say, “I would lead prayer, but _______,” I would lead singing, but _____,” “I would teach a class, but ________,” “I would go on a mission trip, but ________,” “I would give more money, but __________?”
Please do not misunderstand the thought. We just cannot allow excuses to hinder us from achieving the greatness of what God can accomplish through us.
Working together to produce or create something defines collaboration. This definition is foundational to understanding team-work as it is associated with leadership.
The realm of leadership is characterized by numerous qualities, principles, and ideas for developing good leaders.
Sadly, leaders often feel they must “go it alone.” Some styles of leadership, such as dictatorial, lend to this mindset and hinder the true development of godly leaders.
We also find that leaders who fail or refuse to work with others, choosing to work alone, suffer both physiologically and psychologically.
When Solomon said “two are better than one…and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” he lays down a principle that supports collaboration.
Additionally, scripture supports the idea of working together, especially as the New Testament describes the church as a body that involves each individual part contributing their abilities to the building up of the body of Christ (cf. Rom. 12:4-8; Eph. 4:11-16).
When leaders work together and promote working together as a team, God will produce fruit that is eternally lasting.
A recent article by Forbes, “7 Words Define What Employees Expect From Leadership,” introduced several concepts with powerful implication for spiritual leadership development. We will not look at all of these ideas, but we will consider a few over the next few weeks.
The first word is specificity. The idea describes the need for leaders to stop “beating around the bush.” People want leaders to be specific about direction. When they are, they pay close attention to details, which promotes confidence for followers.
Vagueness tends to breed vagueness and frustration. When leaders are vague, the general mindset among followers is that leaders do not have a clue where they are going or how they will get there.
These ideas alone should motivate us to seek greater clarification in our leadership. Establishing a system by which we communicate with specificity strengthens the morale of an organization and provides confidence in the direction.
The need in leadership is obvious. Now is the time for us to develop and implement a plan for specificity as leaders.
“Change starts with you, but it doesn’t start until you do.” Tom Ziglar
Change is one of those words that exposes a number of feelings. For some, nothing is worse than change. The comfortability of the “rut” makes it nearly impossible to discuss change, let alone actually implement change.
For others, the idea of change is a daily part of life. Change is inevitable and, interestingly enough, change is biblical. A change must occur in order for us to leave the old life and exchange it for the new. Scripture also indicates the continual nature of change as we grow and mature in the faith.
The status quo is not necessarily a good thing, nor is change for the sake of change.
Ziglar’s thought is significant in application to the latter half of the two mindsets mentioned above. Understanding the need for change is the first step. Change, however, cannot stop with just realizing there is a need. Change requires action on our part. When we start, change will follow.
As we consider the role of biblical leadership, another area linked to the development of leaders is exercising daily renewal.
Scripture identifies the need for renewal. Paul uses this objective by urging Christians in Rome not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the “renewing of their minds.”
In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul contrasts the physical with the spiritual and identifies how the physical is decaying, but the spiritual is “renewed day by day.” What does this daily renewal look like for biblical leadership?
Developing time in prayer allows us to communicate the depths of our heart.
Communication flows both ways, so biblical leaders are renewed by learning from God’s word.
Encouragement is also a two-way street. Encouragement strengthens a renewal in our faith.
Reminders of goals, plans, and the purpose for our involvement, keeps us focused.
The beauty of daily renewal is directly related to the exercise associated with the process. The implication of exercise with daily renewal speaks to the hard and consistent work required.
More could be considered, but the exercise of daily renewal keeps biblical leaders fresh and strong.