The value of education is recognized by the efforts put forth in the family to ensure children attend school. As parents, we want our children to learn how to read and write, to understand the history of our country and world, and to gain a perspective of math and science. Of course, there are numerous other subjects that fall into this category.
However, do we grasp the urgency of a spiritual education? New Testament authors emphasize God’s plan for the church to grow. God expects us to grow (Hebrews 5:12), commands us to grow (2 Peter 3:18), and designed the church that it would grow (Ephesians 4:11-16).
With the emphasis on spiritual growth, leaders must take a more serious look at the situation and how we can better equip God’s people.
We are responsible not just to teach, but to teach others “how” to learn from God’s word in order that they might teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
If we value what we learned from someone who took the time to teach us, then we need to imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
As fascinating as it may or may not be, there are two words with three letters each that establish the most powerful questions a leader can consider.
The first question to consider is “why?” Beyond seeking the cause and effect, the implication behind this question is to determine the purpose behind the decisions being made and the actions taken.
Why does this task require leadership?
Why should we pursue this direction?
Why is this work important?
Why is this the best course of action to reach our goals?
The second question to consider is “how?” Once we understand the purpose behind the decisions or actions, we must then determine how we are going to fulfill them.
How do we become a leader?
How will we accomplish this task?
How should we handle the obstacles when they occur?
How can we get others involved?
If we, as leaders, will take the time to ask these two questions and determine the answers, the pathway to success is much clearer. Nothing could be stronger from a spiritual perspective.
The eye is an amazing part of the human body. There is not enough space in any blog post or series of posts to cover the complex intricacies of the eye.
However, as we begin to age, it is fairly common (somewhere around 40ish) we notice that our arm will not extend quite far enough to read the print on the page.
Two conditions normally occur around this time of life: 1) near-sightedness – the ability to see things up close, but not far away, and 2) far-sightedness – the ability to see things far away, but not up close.
In a spiritual sense, leaders must avoid both conditions. Leaders need the ability to see what is going on up close around them, knowing the present needs that exist. They must also have the kind of vision that makes it possible to see what will occur down the road.
The ability to see both near and far in leadership makes it possible to address current needs and plan for the future in ways to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
Solomon expresses how the end is better than the beginning.
This can be challenging, at least on a personal level. However, the thought expressed is one that does indicate the satisfaction and joy that accompanies the achievement of the goal.
From a leadership standpoint, Solomon’s statement indicates one of credibility and confidence.
When leaders are able to reach the end of the matter, it is an indicator of success, and success breeds credibility for those who are following.
As well, reaching the end of the matter also strengthens the confidence of the leader. As each victory is achieved, leaders grow with confidence for setting out to accomplish the next goal.
The idea is demonstrated by several individuals throughout the Bible: men like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Peter, and Paul.
Our leadership will be no different. As leaders reach the success at the end of the matter, they will anticipate the next challenge or goal and work with tireless effort to build upon their confidence to strengthen their credibility for others.
Admit it, we have all thought or said that someday we will do this or that. Perhaps we thought someday we will reach out to a friend with the gospel. Someday we will get involved in the church more. Someday we will… (fill in the blank).
Janet Dailey is credited with saying, “Someday is not a day of the week.”
When we consider the urgency of leadership within the church today, one has to wonder if years ago the thought was that someday we will lead.
The apathy and indifference of our world has influenced the church in ways that we face a generation that lacks the desire to lead in the church.
Where is the passion that drives us to excel as Paul instructed to the church in the Thessalonian letter? What happened to the desire to improve who we are in order to help others grow?
The time is NOW! We must not delay to meet the urgency of the situation.
A contrast of counsel is found throughout the Psalms and Proverbs. We are urged not to walk in the counsel of the wicked in Psalm 1. Later in the Psalms David expresses the need to wait for the counsel of the Lord, because His counsel will endure forever.
Solomon claims a wise man is one who listens to wise counsel, and one who possess understanding will acquire wise counsel.
One of the best Proverbs about counsel is found in Proverbs 27:9 where we read, “A man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”
Leadership should always provide a source of counsel that is based on the word of God, designed to provide guidance to spiritual success and an eternal reward.
When leaders provide godly counsel, several beautiful things occur: 1) Above all, God is glorified, 2) His people are built up in the faith, 3) Leadership is strengthened in righteousness, and 4) The future is secured.
The consequences of not seeking wise counsel can be seen in the life of Joshua (Jos. 9).
Let leaders learn today from his example, then pursue and provide godly counsel.
Observation of the events and people who participate in our lives on a daily basis is one of the most powerful exercises for leaders.
Leadership is about people, and unless we are observing how God works in our lives to provide opportunity to lead, we will miss the possibility of God using us to help others.
An ancient Chinese proverb emphasizes the way to a lifetime of happiness: “If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
Helping others can only occur when leaders observe the people God places in their lives each day.
Leaders must seek to discover what goes on in the lives of these individuals, why it takes place, and how they might show the light of Jesus through their help.
Take a few moments each day to simply observe the working of God through the opportunities provided in the lives of the special people placed on our daily path.