What creates pressure? Confrontation? Health problems? Financial difficulties? Family issues? Spiritual conflict?
What causes us to feel pressure? Is it when our belief structure is challenged? Do we feel pressure when we know something is not right, but we just do not want to deal with the possible fallout? Perhaps we feel pressure when thinking about addressing traditions we have bound, but we know such change is hard, even though needed.
Whatever it may be, we need leaders who are courageous and willing to stand up and deal with such issues.
Pressure will always be a part of leadership. Pressure is increased even further for spiritual leaders because of the eternal consequences weighed in the balances of each decision.
However, when we are unwilling to deal with issues because of the pressure we are only delaying greater pressure with graver consequences.
As the song encourages, “Rise up o men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings.”
Accept that there will be pressure. Address and correct it with what is Biblically right.
Have we ever considered the “grand scheme” of things and perhaps our role as a leader in that scheme?
When we examine Scripture we find God’s grand scheme, what is often referred to as mission. God’s mission unfolds from the beginning and is providentially guided throughout the history of Israel down to the coming and crucifixion of Jesus.
The power of this mission / scheme is the unfolding of God’s continued involvement in our present day. This is where you and I come onto the scene.
If we are not careful it is easy to get distracted, wrapped up, delayed, or even drawn away by the menial and trivial areas of life and our priorities are distorted. The result causes us to forget God’s grand scheme and our role in that scheme.
We need to be praying that God will open the doors. We also need to pray we have the wisdom to see those opportunities and that we have the courage to pursue what God has placed before us to fulfill the grand scheme.
“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” E. M. Forster
Passion is one essential element for leadership. A leader with passion and little talent will always out perform a leader with talent and little passion.
However, our modern definition of passion leaves much to be desired in the true application of this thought. We often are limited to think about passion as enthusiasm or excitement.
The word originally comes from a Latin word that involves the idea of suffering. Mel Gibson’s attempt at creating the crucifixion of Jesus named the move The Passion of the Christ. His efforts were to show how much Jesus suffered.
Considering this idea, leaders must be those who have passion. They are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to lead. They suffer and their life is characterized by discipline.
Leaders need to have enthusiasm. They need to be driven to achieve their goals, but when leaders are passionate they are willing to suffer, making the sacrifices needed to do whatever it takes to achieve the goal.
Leadership will never be easy, but the results of passion will always change lives.
Twenty-nine years ago today the second of three children was born into our family.
Over the years we have heard much about the middle child within family relationships. Some information was fitting and some not. We have learned that each child is unique in their own ways.
Considering all our children have been through, the idea of being in the middle develops an interesting thought for leadership…leading from the middle.
Everyone is in the middle at some point. We lead those who work below us and we work for people leading above us.
A few key principles stand out from a position referred to by John Maxwell as the 360 Degree Leader.
Leadership influence works both ways, up and down. Use the position to make the difference.
Invaluable opportunities exist for the greater good from the middle. Think about it, there is opportunity to learn from and change both worlds.
This provides the greatest leverage for leading. The work does not fall completely on the leader in the middle.
As Christians, we all lead from the middle, no matter where we are on the spectrum.
What would life be like if we could take out the if factor? Eliminating the element of doubt would change everything for growth.
I am specifically addressing the plans we make concerning our relationship with God and the future development of His kingdom.
Instead of plans based on the if factor, our plans would be based on the power of God to work through us to accomplish His purpose.
Perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we really believe what God has said in His word.
Do we limit the power of God by the boundaries we have created in our own mind?
Do we believe God has the power to do far beyond all we ask or think according to the power that works within us?
When we believe that God can and will accomplish His purpose, even in spite of us, maybe we would stop thinking small and start thinking big!
What are we hindering God from doing because we have placed limitations on Him?
What could God do through you and me as leaders in the kingdom if our faith was greater?
Think big! Think Souls!
It’s all about timing. When leadership faces decisions, a critical question that must be considered involves timing. Is this the right time?
More than a few leaders have struggled with challenges resulting from the right decision at the wrong time.
The power of leadership is demonstrated when the right decision is made at the right time.
Biblically, Jesus always said and did the right things at the right time. As well, we find His timing was always based on God’s time.
How do we learn to make the right decisions at the right time?
Begin with prayer. We need to consult the One who knows the past, present and future, seeking guidance in the decisions we need to make.
Counsel the wisdom of others. Nothing is new under the sun. Therefore, others before us who have faced similar decisions should be consulted before making a decision.
Admit a wrong decision. Never try to deny, ignore, or blame others for wrong decisions. Own up to the mistake and move forward.
Timing can make or break leaders. Value is found in seeking a path to aid our success.
Recently, I spent several days in East Africa. Each night I slept under a mosquito net. While I do not enjoy swatting these pesky creatures, the fear of malaria is enough to sleep under a net.
Also, I exercise the precaution of taking a prescription medication to aid in preventing malaria…just in case.
The purpose of such precautions is to protect me from something that can be harmful and even fatal in some cases.
One of the roles leadership provides is protecting the good of everyone from what can be harmful or fatal. David understood this about the leadership of God as he wrote Psalm 23.
Take time to read through the lines of this Psalm and notice the protecting leadership of the Lord’s shepherding. The thoughts expressed outline a good framework for leaders of any generation.
Leading indicates the shepherd’s care demonstrated in areas that are physically safe.
Guidance seems to indicate a spiritual direction and protection.
Comfort is the result of needed discipline.
Preparation completes a thought of victory over challenges.
A few steps, but leadership can provide what is needed for the good of everyone.