Like most people, growing up it was common to hear, “Son, when I was your age I used to…” The idea spoke of fond memories from the past. Do we remember the good ole’ days?
At other times we look to the past with regret over words or actions we cannot change.
Still, there are times when we look at the past with hope of greater opportunities for the future.
We cannot live in the past. As well, we cannot change it.
Our leadership is not about the past. It is about the future. Leaders do not lead people to where they have been, but where they need to go.
Paul knew the regret of words and actions of the past. He also knew he could not allow the past to dictate the direction of the future. Instead, he chose to focus on what lies ahead.
We, too, must remember the work of spiritual leadership. Do not allow the past to dictate our direction. Acknowledge it. Learn from it. Leave it where it is. We must be focused on the future.
A narrative is basically described as telling a story. However, the idea behind this week’s word runs much deeper. An account of connected events is also referred to as a narrative.
However, for our purposes today, we need to consider a narrative in the following light: a representation of a particular situation or process in such a way as to reflect or conform to an overarching set of aims or values.
The power of this definition reflects a connection to our leadership within the sphere of God’s overarching aims and values for His leaders.
Our narrative is written within the greater narrative of God’s will, His design and purpose for our lives.
Leading within this narrative moves us to consider how we can help others by leading them to see their part within this narrative.
When we connect the events together and see the providential working of God moving throughout the activities of our life, we understand more fully the need to look for ways to plug in and allow God to work through us for the greater purpose of His narrative.
Few characteristics in life are more important than faith. The example of Abraham, the “Father of Faith,” stands as a testimony to the influence of faith within the family (Gen. 15, 18, 22).
Abraham’s faith is exemplified in the book of Hebrews (He. 11:8-10, 17-19), and Paul uses Abraham’s faith as an example for our own faith (Ro. 4).
The key to Abraham’s faith is the fact that “…with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith…being fully assured that what God has promised, He was able also to perform” (Ro. 4:20-21).
The idea expresses an example that must be demonstrated in the home. The example of an unwavering faith points to the confidence of a father and his relationship with God, a faith that trusts without reservation. Doubt is eliminated and certainty in God’s promise is promoted.
A depth of trust is born out of faith that believes God is able to perform what He promises.
When leadership in the home is characterized by faith, we find a beautiful example that does not waver in unbelief.
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” Amy Poehler
Few suggestions are more exciting than the opportunity to sit around a table with others and collaborate ideas. Discussing and planning every area of life, personally and professionally, serves to improve our leadership.
The beauty of collaborating with others is the inspiration of gleaning from the wisdom and experience of those closest to our lives. Here we find guidance from others who care most for us. Their desire is to see us succeed in life.
Spiritually, few opportunities are more important than times of collaboration where we examine ways to strengthen the church and lead others to a greater hope.
The change in life that makes the greatest difference in who we are and what we do is born from the benefits of what is learned in community.
The challenge of leading in rough waters obviously deals with an uncomfortable area. No one likes leading during these times. No one seeks out rough waters to practice their leadership. Amazingly, for some leaders rough waters always seem to find them.
There appears to be no rhyme or reason to this challenge, but the true test of our leadership will occur in these moments because they define who we are as a leader and the credibility of decisions we make for the future.
What will help us navigate through these waters and find smooth sailing on the other side?
Remember who we are at the core. Nothing should change our core values. Hold on to the basis of why we lead.
Trust in wise counsel. We are not navigating alone. Others have sailed rough waters before us. Seek counsel from the wise.
Be slow, diligent, and deliberate with all decisions. The quickest way to experience defeat is to act before good thought and slow execution is implemented.
Rough waters will come, but we can sail through them if we do not panic and possess a steadfast spirit.
Is it a 5 Hour Energy shot? Coffee? Exercise?
What is it that gets us up and going in the mornings? Regardless of the artificial nature of our pick-me-up, we all have times we badly need a little help.
The challenge is learning what provides a kick to the attitude. Consider these suggestions.
Start the day with the Lord in prayer. Nothing helps the spirit more than pouring our hearts out to the heavenly Father. Speak from the heart and know He is listening. If there is a need to confess sin, then do so and let God remove the burden.
Follow up with reading the Word. Amazingly, we are not the only ones who need a pick-me-up. David found himself in need of God. He expresses throughout the Psalms the value of God’s word, the meditation of his heart. The same works for us.
Provide a hand up to someone else. There are few activities that lift the spirit more than helping someone else. If we open our eyes and look, opportunities abound. As we lift up others, our own spirit is lifted up.
Development involves a number of significant applications. One preference involves a specified state of growth or advancement.
The indication is connected to measurement. With development we have a means by which we measure or determine the specified growth or advancement.
The challenge is learning how to measure our leadership. How can leadership be accurately assessed for growth and advancement?
It would be difficult to determine a more challenging question to answer, but here are a few possible suggestions.
First, and foremost, consider the activity of those who are following. If there is no activity, then our leadership is probably not growing. Growth can quickly be measured by application.
Second, examine carefully responses given in feedback. Positive and negative feedback have a powerful place in the growth and development being assessed.
Third, find a mentor. The value of having someone examine the growth and advancement of leadership is immeasurable. A good mentor can make the difference.
While there are many other suggestions, development of leadership is critical to the advancement and growth of any work.