How great would it be to have a crystal ball to look into and see what the future holds, or would it be?
The possibility exists that we might not like what we see.
At the same time, leading is about the future. From a spiritual perspective, nothing is more important than what the eternal future holds for Christians.
However, on a more pragmatic level, leaders need to consider what the future of their leadership looks like.
Will the future hold growth and development for the church or will it be stagnant?
Will the future be a place where vision points to stronger or declining leadership?
Asking questions can be unending, yet in the end, we must consider the necessity of planning today to ensure the future of growth and stronger leadership.
The future of leadership must be built on prayer.
Leaders should prepare for the future with God’s word as a guide.
Tomorrow’s leaders must be encouraged today to be ready.
What does the future look like? A few simple steps may make the future brighter.
On a daily basis I receive a number of quotes and ideas expressed by various people. Some get pushed into the cyber trash can, but others leave a lasting impression. One of today’s quotes was worth sharing and remembering.
Lori Deschene said, ”Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.”
Regardless of her religious preferences, Deschene’s thought is powerful. How often do we fail to think before we speak, only to wish later we could take back our words? If only we would pause first and consider the consequence, our choice or words might be different.
From a leadership perspective, learning to practice the pause makes all the difference. The 10-10-10 Principle, as written by Suzy Welch, accompanies the practice of the pause. When we stop to think and gather all the information possible before speaking or deciding, we can see more clearly the best direction for both. The result leads to better decisions, which strengthens credibility in our leadership.
The concept of positive thinking is not new for anyone. Yet, we often fail to practice such in our daily lives, whether at work or home. Developing the mind of leadership requires us to consider the influence of our attitude on everyone around us.
Recently, I read the following statement by Leah LaBelle, “Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.”
Sadly, at some point we will deal with those who are critical and negative. They look for ways to put others down or criticize. We could spend several posts to discuss why, but that is not the point.
We must remember to utilize our strength and courage to believe in ourselves and use negativity or criticism in a way that becomes positive in an effort to achieve our plans.
This characterizes the power of our leadership.
Few times are more important for the demands of life than respite. Basically, the idea refers to a pause for rest from the intensity or amount of something.
Again, when applied to the demands of leadership, this time becomes critical for the ability to accomplish the needs for God’s church. Jesus even instructed the apostles to do the same. He understood the need for rest.
Here are a few ideas for consideration.
First, respite does not mean an extended vacation. Although an extended vacation might be helpful and needed, the idea of respite involves a shorter period to recoup.
Second, utilize the time to its fullest potential. The intent behind this suggestion means we need to remove or set aside obstacles that might distract our rest: cell phone, email, etc.
Third, focus on a greater source of strength. A moment in prayer to seek help from God to provide strength would be a powerful start.
These only provide a starting point for the need of every leader. Leaders rarely take a few moments during the day or week to focus on respite, but this time will make the difference.
After considering the subject at hand over the last several days, we conclude with this thought: eternity matters.
The first time this thought was presented, a wave of emotions and thoughts hit me. Could there be a greater reason for the “why” of leadership?
When we look back at the various components of our discussion, God’s design involves the necessity of leadership in the home, church, and world. The foundation, however, that motivates us to establish leadership in each area narrows down to this one point: eternity matters.
Why would God’s design include the role of leadership within the home, church, and world? Because God knows eternity matters.
He understands the brevity of our life on this earth. He knows that once we cross over from this life to the next we cannot turn back or change the outcome. He longs to share what He has prepared for us.
If we could wrap our minds around this great truth, eternity matters, our entire perspective just might change and the direction for every area of our life would become be a bit more urgent.
As we continue to examine why we must study leadership, today we turn to another area of concern: the world.
People around the world follow someone. Generally, who they follow depends on the individual(s) that take opportunity to influence them.
If Christians choose not to lead, then where does this leave people in our neighborhoods, nation, and world? If we reject the God given responsibility to shine the light of Jesus, who will people follow?
It would seem that the only possibility is the prince of the power of the air, the ruler of this world, the one who leads them into darkness.
Are we ready to accept the consequences for such a decision?
One of the primary reasons we need to study leadership is because the majority of seven billion people are currently walking from this life into an eternity without a Savior.
Leadership is not an easy task. We are often left vulnerable when we open ourselves up in order to reach out to the world. However, the results of leading those without Christ to Him ignite a passion that drives the future of our leadership. More tomorrow.
The result of implementing a plan for leadership not designed by God leaves the church following unbiblical leadership. Too often, such is the case.
If there is a greater reason to study leadership, I am unsure what it might be. We must focus on leadership development.
The question is, “How do we accomplish this task?” Here are two foundational suggestions.
First, we must focus on prayer. Recently, it was suggested the church spend a Sunday evening in prayer for the leaders of our country. While this is needed, should we not be more concerned with praying about leaders for the church? What will become of the church if we have the leaders we want for our country, but have no leaders in the church?
Second, we diligently need classes that prepare, train, and educate leaders. Consider the fact that we diligently prepare, train, and educate leaders in the corporate realm. Somehow, we have not exercised the same diligence in the church, and we are experiencing the consequences.
The time is now. We must begin immediately if we plan to change the future.