One of the greatest challenges facing biblical leaders involves the uncompromising conviction of truth.
Not during the times of comfort does this moment become critical, but when difficulties of a physical, social, or financial nature press in on the well-being of leaders.
The moment of truth is not measured by what a leader hopes, desires, or thinks might be needed.
The moment of truth is measured by what a leader does, the stand that is taken, and the demonstration of character when it is not popular with the majority.
The time comes in the life of every person when they must decide how they are going to act or react to the environment or circumstances before them.
In that moment, the decision that is made determines the effectiveness of each leader.
No pleasure, monetary prize, popularity, or status of prestige is worth compromising the truth and the principles of character that stand behind it.
Leaders are needed who hold to and lead by the truth delivered from God to the world.
Allow the moment of truth to be a definition of true leadership.
When considering the idea of dependent leadership, a number of words are associated, the primary of which is reliant. Spiritual leaders understand the need to rely upon God. They are dependent upon His guidance, direction, strength, and provisions to lead others.
Spiritual leaders are also aware of the fact that followers are also dependent upon them to provide the same.
Guidance provides advice and instruction for the conduct and behavior of living.
Direction shows the way, primarily the way to an eternal destination.
Strength is needed to get up and keep moving in the right direction connected to the goal.
Provisions are given to continue the journey, even when all else seems to have failed.
These four areas are all directly related to the dependence that is associated with our relationship with God and those who fill the role of leading God’s people.
The role is never taken lightly. It is critical to building a solid foundation that supplies all of us the basic components to our growth in relationship with God.
David Nicholls once said, “I want to live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph.”
We have no way of knowing the specific intent behind this thought, but the implication is powerful to the way others see our leadership.
Each day we are given an opportunity to live on the stage of life. Others witness every move and every word. Images are imbedded in their minds by what they see, just like a photograph.
As they recall the days gone by, they remember these images and the impact left by them.
We do the same with others we see every day.
Consider the following question: What would the photograph others take of us look like?
Like most good photographs, there are times the perfect shot can only be taken in a moment of time. We may only have a moment for others to take that perfect picture that changes their lives forever.
Christians leaders must always let their light shine in such a way others can see their good works and glorify God.
A person who is qualified refers to someone recognized as trained to perform a specific job or task. A level of competency is also associated with this recognition.
The Bible provides a list of qualifications for men who would serve in the position of an elder or deacon within the church.
These qualifications are in place to guide the future of the church with leaders who are qualified to provide the necessary shepherding to keep the church pure and doctrinally sound.
While all Christians should strive to achieve these qualities, at least the ones applicable, we do not have to possess all these qualities in order to be qualified to lead others.
Remember, leadership is about influence. We are striving to influence others for the cause of Christ. As a Christian, our qualification for leading others is built on the blood of our Savior.
The stronger our faith becomes, the more our confidence grows, and the greater our influence becomes. Qualified leaders are needed in the Lord’s church to shepherd God’s people, and qualified leaders are needed to influence others for the kingdom.
The mentoring relationship is a mutual relationship designed to establish and achieve specific well-defined goals.
These goals are connected to developing the ability to know, think, and perform.
The ultimate purpose and design of mentoring is to create a relationship that nurtures learning. One of the key components required to achieve this kind of relationship is responsibility.
When mentored, a learner takes responsibility for the priorities, learning, and resources for achieving a capacity for self-direction. The idea expresses moving “from dependence to independence to interdependence” (Lois Zachary, The Mentor’s Guide, Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships, 3).
A number of elements are also essential for a learning-centered mentoring program: reciprocity, learning, relationship, partnership, collaboration, mutually defined goals, and development.
The design of each of these elements is to promote stronger relationships that motivate, inspire, and contribute to development and growth. This relationship is collaborative and channeled to achieve a support system of success. The mutuality in mentoring increases the viability of the desired purpose in the relationship.
For more information on developing mentoring relationships, read Zachary’s book.
In the 2013 documentary, “Inside Chipotle,” a very important area regarding leadership was highlighted. Managers in the company are promoted on the bases of how they develop leaders among their employees.
The concept of leaders developing leaders is a highly known principle in most all leadership materials. John Maxwell states, “To grow, lead followers. To multiply, lead leaders.” This is why the need for mentors is an important part of this week’s posts.
Instead of being consumed with the fear of being out-performed, shown-up, or otherwise replaced, imagine the development of a company where leaders were constantly grooming others to lead.
Imagine the growth that would occur within the church.
How amazing would it be for spiritual leaders to consider the benefit involved in developing other leaders?
Biblically, this principle is emphasized in several places. Jesus demonstrated this in developing the apostles for the task of evangelizing the world.
Paul instructs older men to set an example of a godly life and older women to teach younger women matters of the home.
We influence others everyday. Let us mentor them to lead.
“No matter what stage of development, we need spiritual companions – mentors and guides, friends and peers along the journey – in order to flourish over a lifetime of godly service” (Reese and Loane, Deep Mentoring, 179).
The need for mentoring should be obvious. Where we begin today is based on the nature of Jesus’ mentoring as it unfolds in the gospel of Matthew. Reading Matthew indicates an interesting word: behold. Matthew wants the reader to pay attention and observe. The genealogical record, activity of angels, fulfillment of prophecy, and the involvement of dreams are all significant to the claim of Jesus as the Christ.
Several terms used to describe the involvement of Jesus as the Christ include: shepherd, ruler, king, light, and healer.
However, the key is built upon the name, Immanuel––God with us, the powerful nature of His presence. The true nature of mentoring involves being present. If God left the glory of heaven to be with us––to shepherd, rule, provide light and heal––then we should also recognize that mentoring necessitates our being present and involved in the lives of those mentored.