I love being a “papa.” Last week my wife and I were blessed to have three of our grandchildren around the house. I am sure you have figured out we watched “Toy Story.” Not just once, but at least 20 times (or so it seemed).
My three year old grandson, Malachi, loves this movie. He has many of the lines memorized. What I love is when he attempts to fly around the room saying “to infinite and beyond.”
As precious as it is to watch him, I cannot help but think about leadership.
The more we learn about spiritual leadership, the more our work is about the future.
What will the future be like for our children or grandchildren? What are we doing now to ensure the spiritual foundation for their future and ours?
Sadly, we often think about the future based on our time on earth. While this is important, we need to give serious thought to “infinite and beyond.”
Whether our life ends on earth or the Lord returns, there is a future where time and space cannot be measured. Let us be diligent to prepare for this future.
Today is a special day in the United States. It is a day when men and women who have served this country in the military, both past and present, are remembered.
The significance of Memorial Day connects us to family and friends who have and continue to serve.
What I remember about these men and women relates to the importance of this post.
1) I remember their volunteer spirit.
2) I remember their dedication.
3) I remember their love.
4) I remember their sacrifice.
These are only four of many reasons we could list why this day is one to remember. It is powerful to consider how these areas are connected because of a loyalty to family, friends, and country. They serve(d) to keep this country free.
Think about the connection to spiritual leadership. Our loyalty to family, friends and the church should be driven by the same spirit, dedication, love and sacrifice. Our desire to lead others to freedom from sin makes everyday worth remembering.
Even more significant is the memorial we celebrate each Sunday for our Savior who exemplified these same four areas.
“I do not know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Unknown
Most people desire success. No one wants to experience failure. One of the reasons why so many do not lead is because they are afraid to fail.
If everyone had this attitude, where would we be spiritually? If no one had the courage to lead, when they cannot please everyone, what would happen to the church?
Well, guess what? It is impossible to please everyone and Jesus warned about situations where everyone speaks well of you. Trying to please everyone is not only impossible it is extremely harmful to our leadership. It creates “minority rule” because the minority will be the voice speaking against the decisions of leadership.
Remember to lead with the Bible as the basis for all decisions.
Establish a clear set of reasons why the decisions are being made and guidelines for their fulfillment.
Make decisions with confidence.
Communicate the decisions clearly.
Understand not everyone will like or agree with all decisions and it’s okay.
The wisest man identified in the Old Testament was Solomon. He wrapped up the book of Ecclesiastes by saying, “the conclusion, when all has been heard: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
The conclusion Solomon makes is true for any generation, culture, and country.
What is the conclusion of the matter when it comes to our leadership?
Are we able to summarize the whole of our purpose as leaders in simple terms with application to everyone?
Does our leadership point people to the One who has the answers for every aspect of life, both good and bad?
How will we answer when the conclusion of the matter concerning our leadership is called into account?
By now, most everyone is aware the world did not come to an end last Saturday, as some predicted. Imagine that! However, we know there is coming a day when it will end. When it does, and we stand before the throne of Christ, let us make sure the conclusion of the matter is clear regarding our leadership.
Time goes by faster the older I get. I grew up hearing the “older generation” make this statement. It never made sense because time seemed to move so slowly. My birthday never came around quickly enough. Summer vacation would never get here. Turning sixteen and being able to drive, well, that was an eternity away.
I can safely say, as I near my 50th birthday, I am becoming the “older generation.” Wow! I cannot keep up with time. I open my eyes in the morning just in time to go to bed again.
The clock is ticking.
In reality, we all have the same amount time moving at the same speed. We were born into the realm of time and it is ticking.
Spiritual leadership should focus attention on the realm of no time and where the clock is not ticking.
We cannot comprehend with our finite minds the eternal realm. It is impossible! By faith we know it exists and at some point we will be ushered from the temporal to the eternal.
We must be ready and we need to influence others to be ready as well.
Why are laws made to enforce wearing seat belts? Is it possible they are made simply to raise additional funds for the city justifying “click it or ticket”? Unlikely, but it would not be hard to convince some folks.
Regardless of our like or dislike of seat belts and affiliated laws, seat belts were designed to protect drivers and passengers in the event of accidents. Yes, I know of those who would have died had they been wearing a seat belt. I also know of those who would have died without them.
I am not looking to debate the benefit or detriment of wearing seat belts. However, it raises an important thought for leaders.
Spiritual leaders are to provide protection in the event of temptation, trial, struggle, and weakness. Our influence should create confidence in our ability to protect. What does this mean? Think about the similarities with the seat belt.
1) We must be there when the need exists.
2) We must connect with people to be useful.
3) We must protect without being uncomfortable.
4) We must create a signal when someone is unprotected.
This time of year always highlights a very special milestone in the lives of most families. High School Seniors have taken their final exams, written their last papers, and said goodbye to those they have grown close to over the years.
The same event occurred at the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver yesterday. Twelve men and nine women walked to the stage and were honored for their accomplishments of the last two years. I loved the expression on their faces knowing they have taken their final exams, written their last papers, and said goodbye to those they have grown close to over the years. A sigh of relief would be an understatement.
The joy for me is found in knowing Bear Valley graduated a group of spiritual leaders in the Lord’s kingdom. They have been equipped, prepared to fulfill their specific roles and powerfully impact the eternal destiny of people around the world.
My prayer for them is to remain faithful to our God, to continue to be students of His word, and to proclaim His glorious word to the world wherever they go. Lead as God has prepared you.