After boarding a plane for Nashville, Tennessee last week, the pilot told everyone there was a storm passing through and we would have to wait until it did.
Everyone seemed a little frustrated. I was no exception. However, it started me thinking about the idea of options.
No one likes flight delays. When waiting for a storm to pass, what options are really available?
Pursuing take off into the storm risks the lives of everyone on board. Is this a viable option?
Returning to the gate or canceling the flight runs the risk of many unhappy customers.
Religiously, our world seems to offer many options when it comes to spiritual leadership. If we are unhappy with the decisions of the present leadership, we just go somewhere else. Worse yet is thinking we have the option moving out on our own.
The options are limited. We either follow the leadership of Christ or not.
In the role as leaders, we are either for Him or against Him. We either lead others to build on rock or sand. The idea of multiple options in following Christ does not exist Biblically.
Direction takes the form of several definitions. Primarily, it involves a course that must be taken to reach a destination. Application is made in giving instruction to be followed. As well, there is implication to having vision.
Certainly, leaders must be able to give and receive direction. We receive direction from the One true spiritual leader, Christ.
Direction, however, is connected to vision and our vision must be used to provide direction for others.
We must establish a plan to reach the goals as outlined by our vision.
Spiritual leaders provide spiritual direction. We must help others onto the course and encourage them to stay on the course.
Parents must lead in the home.
Congregational leaders must lead congregations.
All of us as Christians must lead the lost.
When we provide direction we assist others in reaching the destination our leadership is striving to help everyone reach…heaven. When we think about it, what direction is our leadership providing for others? Will it take them where they want to go or where they need to go?
There are no impossibilities in the eyes of a child. They may not have a good perspective of time, money or needed staff, but everything is possible.
Children know no limitations.
They generally know no fear.
There is nothing too difficult.
As Walt Disney once said; “if you can think it, you can do it.” From someone who amassed a billion dollar company based on a mouse, it would seem he knew what he was talking about.
Examining our spiritual leadership should cause us to consider what we dream, what we believe, and what we plan to accomplish.
Scripture indicates the necessity of thinking big. Jesus tells us everything is possible with God.
In addition, Paul reminds us how God has the power to do far beyond all we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.
Where would our leadership take us if we really believed in God’s power to work in the realm beyond what we think?
Have we limited what God can do because we have convinced ourselves we cannot do it?
Think Big. Think Souls!
“He that cannot obey, cannot command.” Benjamin Franklin
In a recent lectureship I was reminded of one of the first rules in leadership…be a good follower. Among all the qualities leaders must possess, they must know how to be a follower. How else will they know how to lead followers?
Spiritual leadership is about following Christ. Scripture is clear about the purpose behind the example left by Jesus. We are to follow in His footsteps.
He gave an example of servant leadership to the apostles. It is an example worthy of all to follow who would lead others.
When we follow Christ we provide an example for others to follow. Paul wrote; “be an imitator of me as I am of Christ.”
How can we fill the role of leadership and have others follow us if we do not know how to follow the Chief Shepherd?
If we want to lead others, then learn to be a good follower.
Preseason football seems to usher in a new sports filled season. For me, basketball was the only sport I focused on in high school. Recently, through Facebook, several high school friends and acquaintances started posting memories of years gone by.
I remember many areas about growing up in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, but one I treasure most is the time on the court.
Practices were filled with the efforts of those who wanted a starting position on the team. It carried an element of leadership based in teamwork. These memories helped lay a foundation for understanding spiritual leadership.
Christ makes us a part of the “starting lineup,” if you will. We must remember the position we have been given is one of leadership based in teamwork.
Leadership is often viewed as being alone. However, nothing could be further from the truth in spiritual leadership.
We are a team. We need to work together as a team if we are going to change the world. No one can make it on their own. We need Christ. We need each other! Would you like to join me on this leadership team?
Have you ever considered what it would be like to trade places with someone else? After all, it would seem others have it so much better than we do.
I grew up hearing “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Is it really?
What do others have better than we do? Financial success? Academic achievement?
What is it we see in others that makes it worth trading places with them?
The Psalmist questioned a similar thought when considering the prosperity of the wicked. How hard it is to only have a view of the surface, to see the physical and temporal.
If our view of leadership is limited to only what we can accumulate or accomplish in this life, we have misunderstood where the treasure really lies.
If our view of leadership is confined to what others think or say about us, then we have lost sight of the value of this God given role.
It is time for us to lay aside the influence and temptation of the materialistic world surrounding us and recognize the urgency of the spiritual need of all. Think Souls!
Integrity goes beyond just being honest. It involves having strong moral principles and moral uprightness.
In the book of Psalms we learn the necessity of walking with integrity if we are going to dwell on God’s holy hill. The very idea of walking indicates a lifestyle characterized by integrity.
There is an incorruptible nature to a spiritual leader who demonstrates integrity. They take responsibility for who they are and what they do.
Walking with integrity involves an undivided and unshakeable character of Biblical soundness. This character is built in humility and follows a path of consistency. Thus, it is a walk of honesty. Spiritual leaders are honest with themselves and with others.
Integrity is best learned at a young age and leadership must exemplify it.
In David’s Psalm he describes several practical areas defining this needed quality. However, there is one among them that stands out; “he swears to his own hurt and does not change.”
Integrity stands for truth, speaks truth, lives the truth and will not change, even if it must be done alone.
Christianity is what we are “in the dark.” Think about it!