Monthly Archives: September 2017

Essence of Leadership…

Essence is the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character. It is further described by words such as: substance, principle, fundamental quality, sum and substance.

The idea behind this description raises several questions and ideas for consideration.

What is the essence of our leadership?

When others consider that indispensable quality that determines our character, how would they describe our leadership?

Is there any substance to the fundamental qualities of our leadership?

The essence of our leadership needs to be built upon the ideas expressed by David when asking the questions connected to dwelling with God in Psalm 15: the one “who walks with integrity, works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.”

We often focus on the ideas of integrity, righteousness, and truth. These are good and worthy to be at the core of our leading.

However, the idea behind walks, works and speaks is significant to describe the whole of the individual, what they think, do, and say. Godly leaders know that when the whole of life’s activities is defined by integrity, righteousness, and truth, others will follow.

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A Wilderness Experience…

Examining time in the wilderness is an interesting study in the Bible. A common thread found among the leaders of God’s people is time spent in the wilderness physically and emotionally.

Consider the time Joseph spent in Egypt. From slavery to the dungeon, the time did not deter God’s plan to develop a leader who would deliver His people and fulfill a promise made to Abraham.

There is also Moses, who, after fleeing Egypt, spent 40 years in the land of Midian away from all he had known, a preparation that developed him to lead the nation of Israel to the mountain of God.

Then, we have Jesus who spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness. The time ended with temptation and the demonstration of resolve to the will of God.

What is it about time spent in the wilderness that helps prepare people to be leaders for God?

This time identifies a need for and dependence upon God.

A walk through the wilderness is neither desired or pleasant. However, the time provides opportunities for growth and prepares us for leading God’s people.

Do Not Waste Time…

As we near the final quarter of the year, our minds turn to the importance of the time that remains and our plans for the year ahead. As we approach a new year we give thought to several questions.

Are we on track to accomplish the goals we established this year?

If we knew that 2017 were to be the last year of our lives, what changes would we make to ensure our goals were completed in a timely manner?

Would our goals be considered important or urgent?

If we have procrastinated the necessary actions to accomplish our goals, we have no time to waste.

If we are waiting to decide what is most important, we have no time to waste.

With so much to do, people to lead to Christ, Christians to strengthen in faithfulness and personal growth, time is of the essence. No commodity is more valuable than our time.

Let us use the time God has given us wisely and never be known for wasting it.

A Wilderness Experience…

Examining time in the wilderness is an interesting study in the Bible. A common thread found among the leaders of God’s people is time spent in the wilderness physically and emotionally.

Consider the time Joseph spent in Egypt. From slavery to the dungeon, the time did not deter God’s plan to develop a leader who would deliver His people and fulfill a promise made to Abraham.

There is also Moses, who, after fleeing Egypt, spent 40 years in the land of Midian away from all he had known, a preparation that developed him to lead the nation of Israel to the mountain of God.

Then, we have Jesus who spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness. The time ended with temptation and the demonstration of resolve to the will of God.

What is it about time spent in the wilderness that helps prepare people to be leaders for God?

This time identifies a need for and dependence upon God.

A walk through the wilderness is neither desired or pleasant. However, the time provides opportunities for growth and prepares us for leading God’s people.

Wise Leadership…

Wisdom involves experience, knowledge and good judgment. From a practical point of view, wisdom is the proper application of knowledge.

Biblically, one of the most notable illustrations of wise leadership is found in the Old Testament in King Solomon. The request of Solomon was an understanding heart to rule God’s people, and the result ushered in a king unlike any before or after him in Israel’s history. This does not mean that Solomon was without faults, but God did grant his request.

The challenge for leaders today is seeking the right source of wisdom. Scripture is clear and the application is significant.

Leaders who seek wisdom should ask God for it. When dealing with the trials of life, God is willing to give wisdom to those who ask in faith.

The qualities of God’s wisdom must be known and practiced: pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

Wisdom can be learned by experience and from others. Using both allows leaders to base their leadership on the guidance provided by God.

Optimistic Leadership…

Nearly four years ago, the world witnessed the passing of Nelson Mandela. The incredible nature of his leadership will be written about for years to come.

One of his many quotes represents the power of optimistic leadership. He said, “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

The above statement piqued my interest. There are many challenges to remaining positive and optimistic in a world filled with the kind of hatred that fosters negativity and pessimism. Mandela knew this hatred well.

Leaders must keep moving forward, pointed toward the sun. Dark moments will come, but biblical leaders understand the hope in Christ that endures despair.

As leaders in God’s kingdom, we must not give up. The victory has been won through the resurrection of Jesus. This victory must keep us focused.

The Art of Teamwork…

One of the great challenges for leaders in any organization, yet one most needed, is the ability to work well with others.

Amy Poehler says, “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.”

Anytime a leader begins to think it is quicker and easier to do the job themselves, they lose focus on one of the greatest opportunities in the arena of leadership.

When a leader feels threatened by those who think outside the box or by colleagues who are talented-gifted and demonstrate ability, they cannot achieve genuine success in leadership.

Poehler’s thought is exactly right. From a leadership perspective, life changes in proportion to our willingness to be open to work with others, to learn from their ideas, to be challenged and inspired.

If we really want to multiply the strength of the church, we need to learn the true art of teamwork.