The approach of many in leadership is far too often one of monarchy. It is fairly common for leaders to fall prey to a position of authority or power. Several thoughts are descriptive of this style of leadership.
The leader is above the law. They see themselves as making decisions, creating the law, not following it.
The leader relies on force, either through emotional manipulation or physical motivation.
The leader believes they are indispensable. They are the only one who “knows” and can do the job right.
However, spiritual leadership thrives on participation. Spiritual leaders rely on the group overall and working with the group to achieve the goal(s).
Decisions and policies are made by and for the group.
Motivation is based on shared purpose and adequate communication.
Shared representation is built on “we” not “I.”
Participation in the role of leadership will involve patience, allowance of independence, an assumption of responsibility, and the need of cooperation.
We are striving to reach a common goal and need each other if we are going to make a difference. Think Souls.
Keep others informed.
Three simple words, yet here is a principle that challenges our leadership. The challenge to leadership exists because the idea behind this principle involves communication.
When leaders do not keep others informed, the following happens:
People grow suspicious.
Distrust blossoms in their minds.
An element of doubt in leadership ability develops.
Anxiety begins to characterize feelings.
The lack of communication is not always intentional. Sometimes, we live a very structured life. We develop a routine and life becomes predictable. In the end, our communication is affected and eventually stops.
Is it possible to prevent these concerns from developing and growing? Yes!
Following three simple words…Keep others informed.
Within the church, there is a great need for Christians to be informed by leadership.
What kind of information needs to be provided?
Inform others of the plans for the future.
Inform others of any changes that need to be made.
Inform others of challenges / hindrances / obstacles facing the plans.
Inform others of the needs.
When leaders communicate / inform others, trustworthy and loyal relationships develop. It is time for God’s leaders to lead.
“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Harry Truman
Several areas about this quote could be noted and rightfully so. However, I love the last line.
Leaders have come and gone. We could all list leaders who are remembered for the negative and destructive nature of their leadership. We could also list others who are remembered for the good and lasting nature of their leadership.
Thinking of a more current and practical approach, what about you and me?
How will our leadership influence be remembered in the church and community where we live and serve?
Will we be remembered because we changed things for the better?
Will our leadership have an impact for the eternal good of others?
If it seems as though the world is standing still around us, then maybe it is time we stood up to lead. Seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Lead as God demands and the world needs!
At one time or another, we all feel a little less than their best. Perhaps we had a poor night’s sleep, we may have a virus, or we are just having one of those days.
Recently, I was struggling with some sort of virus. I knew my energy levels were low, I felt achy, and I had a slight fever. I did not feel well.
I do not advocate showing up to work when contagious and risk infecting everyone. However, I remember a statement by Jerry West; “you can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.”
We need to learn how to work through the times when we do not feel as good as other days.
Remember our purpose. Do not lose sight of why we are leading.
Put one foot in front of the other. At times, just getting started helps.
Focus on the goal. The result promises to be worth the effort.
Remain dedicated to finish. It is not how you start, but how you finish that makes a difference.
Leadership motivates us to show up everyday!
Enoch is not a great Biblical leader because of the number of people the Bible mentions he led. In reality, there are no followers mentioned.
He is not a great Biblical leader because he did not see death.
Enoch is a great Biblical leader because Genesis 5 states he “walked with God.” Just saying those three words makes my mind and heart race.
Every spiritual leader needs to be characterized by their walk with God. How powerful it would be if our eulogy was simply summed up as one who “walked with God.”
The beauty of Enoch’s walk is explained in the book of Hebrews. The text says; “by faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death…”
Reading the account in Genesis and Hebrews leads us to a powerful conclusion. Enoch’s walk with God was a life characterized by faith.
Examining the whole of Hebrews 11, with an application to leaders today, we find a walk of faith is one of seeking God, obedience to His word, and trusting in His providence now to help us receive what is promised then.
I live in a part of the world where I can easily identify direction. The mountains are always in the West, at least from where I live. Therefore, if the mountains are on my left, I know I am traveling north. If they are on the right, I know I am headed south.
I have also lived in and visited places where I had absolutely no idea of direction. I could not identify north from south, or east from west. It does not take long to recognize why it is so important to have direction.
Pilots fly by what is known as IFR (Instrument Flying Rules). IFR involves relying on a plane’s instruments instead of one’s own senses. Certain conditions can create a false sense of direction causing pilot error.
Leaders are involved in the task of providing direction for others. If we are to provide the right kind of direction, preventing error, we must use the true God given instrument.
God’s word is the only instrument needed if we are to provide true spiritual direction.
Know your people and look out for their well-being.
Two ideas are presented in this principle of leadership. The application of this principle holds true in both the secular and spiritual realms of leadership.
Is it possible to spiritually lead others without knowing them? Leaders must know the dreams, aspirations, hopes, and personal goals to provide leadership.
The second part of this principle involves looking out for their well-being. A employer from years ago used to say; “if you take care of those under you, they will take care of you.”
The reason these two parts are connected is because a leader cannot look out for the well-being of people without knowing them.
Nothing is more important than knowing the needs of others and leading in ways to provide for those needs.
The four basic needs of all people consist of physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Our culture generally uses this order. However, spiritual leaders understand the necessity of reversing the order.
We must be given to task of focusing on the spiritual needs of others. Think Souls!