The concept of vision is an area of leadership addressed from many angles.
Amazingly, when we look at something from one angle it may appear one way, but looking at it from another angle may appear completely different. The internet is filled with various forms of optical illusions that illustrate this point.
The same is true in the way we see our God and plan for our service in His kingdom.
Jesus reshaped the way the Samaritan woman at the well saw Him. She began by seeing Jesus as a Jew, but before the conversation was over, she recognized Him as the Messiah.
Jesus helped the apostles see the multitude of Samaritans coming to meet Him from a different perspective, a harvest needing to be harvested.
There is an interesting lesson here in that how we see Jesus influences the way we see others. As leaders we desperately need to see Jesus from a biblical perspective and recognize that all people, who are made in the image of God, deserve to be seen in need of His grace.
This vision is needed by godly leaders.
After a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom, an interesting thought was discovered in a quote by Walt Disney.
Disney said, “I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park (Disneyland). I want them to feel they’re in another world.”
How many times have we thought about the problems of the “real” world? We often want to escape the real world for another world. The idea of removing ourselves from the reality of the events or situations encountered sounds appealing.
The world we live in seems to have an insatiable desire to avoid reality. The real world brings challenges to our families: financial problems, health difficulties, and the list goes on. Getting away from this “realness” is tempting, but is it possible?
Everyone needs time to rejuvenate or “recharge the batteries,” but checking out of reality introduces psychological issues that need more attention than any post can address.
The world of leadership is not one that exists in the “virtual” realm, but one that requires an understanding of reality to address the various challenges presented in life.
While the most common concept of a sanctuary is related to a holy place or church building, the idea behind this week’s word is a place of refuge or safety.
Leaders should approach the concept of sanctuary from at least two perspectives: 1) the need for sanctuary themselves, and 2) providing the type of leadership where others find sanctuary.
Regardless of how long someone has been involved in leadership, there will always be times when leaders need to retreat to a place of refuge, a place of solitude where they find peace.
Also, leaders need a style of leadership that allows others who follow the opportunity to find that place of safety, a place where they can trust in their leadership to provide security.
The beauty of this word is that it applies to what God has done for us through Jesus. The writer of the book of Hebrews mentions this truth in several ways, as Jesus is superior, better, and sovereign because of who He is, what He did, and where He is now.
Let us focus on these truths as the foundation for our own leadership.
What would we consider to be the “best day ever?”
This line, from the movie Tangled, is basically quoted by people everywhere and modified to fit whatever the situation or thought.
From a spiritual leadership perspective, the idea behind the best day ever takes on a whole new meaning. The “best day ever” occurred at the resurrection of Jesus.
Yes, there is significance and application to the blood that poured forth from the side of Jesus at the crucifixion. Without the shedding of His blood, there is no forgiveness.
The best day, however, is connected to His resurrection. Here is where Jesus defeated Satan. Here is where the fear of death was removed. Here is where Jesus gave us hope of something better beyond this life.
Christianity is based on this fact! Without the resurrection, Paul describes the tragedy that exists in following Christ (1 Co. 15:12-19).
When we consider the resurrection of Jesus with this hope in view everything changes in the way we lead others.
There is something worth living and dying for…because He lives!
There is something worth leading others for…because He lives!
“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot — it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” Maya Angelou
We have considered the power of positive and negative influences or experiences in the past. The intent is not to reiterate the ideas that were expressed at that time.
This thought stands out because it is inclusive of everything that influences us. It is not uncommon to hear someone say that watching inappropriate movies, listening to vulgar or offensive jokes, and participating in certain activities do not influence them.
The contrary is true. The more we are exposed to areas we should not be around, the more we find ourselves drifting from the solid foundation upon which our experiences in life should be built.
This is not to say we should develop a monastery and separate ourselves from ever having contact with the world, but it does mean we need to give consideration to those experiences and strive to have the kind of experiences that drive us to greater godliness.
The question posed is challenging because the perception we want to have is that, as Christians, we are influencing the world, but are we?
Jesus was clear in His description of disciples as the salt of the earth and light of the world. These two terms are significant because they influence the realm in which they are applied. We also know that the analogy, when applied to Christianity, is the same. We are to be an influence in the world.
Christian influence is determined by words, attitudes, conduct / behavior, and activities. We need to consider who exactly we are influencing?
The mindset that often pervades our approach is that we need to participate as close to the line of worldliness as possible in order to have this influence.
Christians have been known to select a non-Christian spouse with this in mind.
Time is spent in developing friendships with this thought.
Sadly, the influence is often reversed and Christians are drawn away from their convictions into activities they never dreamed before, rather than changing the world by their influence.
Let us keep a close check on who is influencing who.
David Schwartz authored a book by this title years ago. The design of this post is not to address the nature of his book, but the idea behind the title is worth considering.
Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus references God’s power to dwell in the realm beyond all we ask or think.
The tendency for most leaders is to think too small (I fit this category). We can excuse it with a number of reasons, but we often place God in a box where we limit Him by thinking He will not do something because we are convinced we cannot do it.
We need to stop placing these limitations on God and start thinking big, at least bigger than we have in the past.
We know God’s desire for the world and we must not think the task of world evangelism is impossible. Nor should we think we are unable to accomplish this task.
God has equipped us with the people and the tools to get the job done. It is up to us to start planning how we can work together to achieve the goal.