“It’s wonderful when the people believe in their leader… but it’s even more wonderful when the leader believes in the people.” – unknown
Consider what could be accomplished with a group of people following this kind of leadership.
When leaders think and speak more in terms of “I” or “me” the results are destructive. In the end, people will not follow because there are questions of the leadership having a genuine concern for the best interest of the people.
Leaders must believe in people and invest in people. No one individual or group of individuals will be greater than the work of our Lord. One of the most powerful lessons we learn from all of scripture is “we can’t make it on our own.”
We need each other and we need our God. We need to believe in each other. Nothing could be more true for spiritual leaders.
An echo is the sound reflected back from the surface of another object based on the right conditions. Its what you get back.
What is being reflected back in our leadership?
Are we listening to those entrusted to our leadership?
Do we know, understand, and meet the needs of the group?
Is there a spiritual focus or material emphasis to our purpose?
Look at the results of working the plan to reach our goals. What are we getting back?
What we get back will directly reflect what we are investing through our leadership. The very purpose of investing in our leadership is because of this echo.
The greater the investment, the greater the return. The joy of leadership is found in seeing the investment grow to greater dividends, knowing what we get back multiplies.
It is the law of harvest. The Bible speaks of reaping what we sow, if to the flesh, we reap corruption, but if to the spirit, then we reap eternal life. Now this is an echo worth the investment.
Well, what would you say? We have all been asked questions challenging the core of our Christianity and our spiritual leadership.
Do you believe you are the only ones going to heaven?
Why don’t you have a piano?
Why do I have to be immersed in water to be saved?
My grandmother was one of the best people I have ever known. Do you think she went to heaven?
Obviously, these are only a few of the questions people have and continue to ask. Not to complicate the list, but what would you say?
We can easily find ourselves seeking a way to avoid answering directly. We become ambiguous or elusive in our answers.
Leaders will face times when they must answer tough questions. What we often fail to remember is the importance of not only what we say, but how we say it.
Based on my limited experience, it is one thing to watch others face challenges and give advice. However, it is another to face those same challenges, personally.
Opinions are plentiful and quite common. Truth and the manner in which truth is spoken is needed. What would you say?
Discipline is an often misunderstood subject. Generally, we think of punishment. However, discipline goes deeper and involves much more. Discipline is found in several areas throughout scripture.
Fathers are to train up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
God disciplines those whom He loves.
The church is to exercise discipline to keep the church pure.
Just as important is the need for us to develop self-discipline / control.
Spiritual leaders must exercise this type of godly discipline.
Notice how godly discipline is built on the instruction of our God who loves us. This discipline keeps us pure. Developing discipline / self-control will allow leaders to demonstrate the kind of character to lead others to our God.
Isn’t leading someone to Christ worth developing godly discipline?
…a location, the theme of numerous songs, the title of several movies, the focus of several books and even a flavor of ice cream.
The idea behind the Great Divide involves a span of distance physically, figuratively, and spiritually.
Abraham spoke of a great gulf separating the rich man and Lazarus, so no one could cross over from one side to the other.
Several areas arise to explain how a great divide is born and developed regarding spiritual leadership.
1) Pride: Nothing creates a greater division than pride. When people perceive a leader as proud or haughty, the message and leadership are no longer effective.
2) Selfishness: A focus on self develops nearsightedness. A self-centered spirit prevents a leader from seeing the possibilities in others and hinders growth.
3) Prejudice: Nations, families, and churches experience division over prejudice. To prejudge someone or a situation without proper information leaves a leader without good judgment.
The Great Divide can be an insurmountable barrier and destructive to our leadership. We must guard our words and actions to prevent the Great Divide
The Sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon ever preached. So many truths are found in these three short chapters we could never cover it all in one post.
A number of key words are found throughout this exposition of our Lord. However, an important thought can be seen to help us in our leadership.
One of the key words to the gospel of Matthew is the word Father. Seventeen times Jesus will use the phrase “our Father,” “your Father,” and “My Father.”
Throughout the sermon Jesus is trying to reshape the thinking of the Jews and us regarding God. He is our Father. He desires to have a close, personal relationship with us as a Father and child. Perhaps one of the most important thoughts expressed is His character: His watchful eye (all seeing), gracious care to our needs (all knowing), consistent actions (all powerful), and justice, like a Father.
We need to reshape our thinking and build our relationship with others on the solid foundation of God as our Father. This relationship will allow our Father to work through us in leading others to Him.
It is basic. It is where we look first. It is the motive behind the action. It causes hesitation. It can be frustrating, but it all comes down to the bottom line.
What is the bottom line in our leadership?
Are our goals self-serving, or are we striving to bring about what is best eternally for the souls of others?
Do we make decisions because it is going to give us an advantage for our career and future, or because it will better equip someone else?
Is there an agenda behind our actions, or a simplistic, pure love for the betterment of God’s kingdom?
When we study various subjects, are we striving to learn the truth, or find a way to justify our position?
I wish there was an easier way to reach the bottom line, but there isn’t. Personally, I do not like answering these questions, but it must be done.
As spiritual leaders, we have to ask hard questions, examine ourselves honestly, admit mistakes, act Christ-like, and pray for God’s strength to do what is right. This is why it’s called the bottom line!