The subjects of wisdom and courage have warranted discussion on many levels for a long time. These two qualities or attributes are critical to the development of leaders.
Mark Amend added a significant level to the dimension of our understanding and application of these two words when he said, “Wisdom is learning to let go when you want to hang on. Courage is learning to hang on when you want to let go.”
How many people or projects have we held on to that were destructive, when wisdom said we should have let go long before?
How many times have we let go when the courage to hang on one more day or week would have delivered success?
We need to develop the posture of learning. Wisdom and courage provide great benefit when we learn from them.
Learning to let go even when our emotions are telling us something contrary, and learning to hang on when the appearance of letting go makes sense, are foundational components to demonstrating wisdom and courage.
Spiritual leaders today need to learn the potent combination of these two attributes.
Concluding this series today, we consider one final area of great leadership demonstrated by our Lord: His confidence in twelve men to turn the world upside down.
Jesus taught, encouraged, admonished, and equipped these men in preparation for the work He commissioned them to fulfill.
Looking at these four words and thinking about how Jesus individualized each of them, the lessons are powerful for great leadership today.
Teach: People do the work they are taught to do. One of the areas where teaching / preaching falls short is application. We are good at giving information and sharing imperatives, but “how” do we do it? When this information is taught, we all learn how to fulfill the task.
Encourage: The power behind encouragement motivates people to work harder than before. When criticism is tempered with encouragement, people change.
Admonish: Warning, advising, or even reprimanding is needed to prevent harm from occurring in the lives of others. The attitude behind admonition determines the reception.
Equip: Providing the necessary tools to fulfill the given task and responsibility are vital to the success of followers, especially as they are prepared to lead.
The life of Jesus is clearly an example of greatness, an example provided that we might follow in His steps. We have considered His compassion and His ability to discuss matters of importance.
Another area of greatness found in the life of Jesus was His suffering. Jesus suffered on numerous occasions. He suffered verbally and physically.
The religious leaders sought to eliminate the perceived threat to their position and power.
The ultimate suffering, however, did not come at the hands of the religious leaders, even though they instigated the procedure.
At the hands of Rome, Jesus would encounter suffering beyond imagination, as He was beaten, ridiculed, mocked with a crown of thorns, spit upon, scourged, and nailed to a cross.
Suffering is not often seen as greatness, but rather a stumbling block and foolishness. However, to those who are saved, it is the power of God.
The purpose of His suffering makes this act of great leadership.
As leaders today, the higher we go in leadership the greater the sacrifice we must make. What leaders willingly suffer becomes a mark of great leadership today also.
A study in the life of Jesus reveals numerous marks of greatness as they relate to His leadership. As we considered yesterday, Jesus demonstrated compassion regarding the needs of others.
Another area of greatness that characterized the leadership of Jesus was His ability to address matters of greater importance.
The disciples constantly questioned Jesus about matters of the kingdom, especially from the physical realm.
In His response Jesus answered their immediate inquisition, but He directed their attention to deeper matters of a spiritual nature.
One example involved the concern of the disciples over the destruction of the temple, the sign of His coming, and the end of the age.
While Jesus addressed their concerns with information related to the signs prior to this event, He took them further into the events surrounding the event surrounding the judgment day.
He wanted them to know that something greater than the destruction of the temple was coming and the reason for teaching them this truth was to prepare themselves and prepare others for that day.
Our leadership is the same, preparing others for that day.
Whenever we use the word great, we know the idea is subjective. However, there are qualities and characteristics of many historical figures that left a mark of greatness in their leadership.
We do not have the time to cover all of these historical mentors of leadership, but we do have time to examine the mark of greatness Jesus left as a leader.
One of the qualities Jesus demonstrated, instrumental in drawing others to Him, was compassion.
Several times throughout the gospels, the compassion of Jesus is identified. He was compassionate to those who were both physically and spiritually in need.
His compassion was more than a feeling of sympathy aroused by the distress of others, it moved Him to act in ways that met their need.
Leaders who follow the example of Jesus, realize the value of this compassionate approach. An awareness of the pressing needs of others is an important component, but compassionate leaders seek ways to get involved to help meet the need.
Pray God will give us all the compassion to be aware of our environment and help meet the needs.
ALD is a broad subject, and there are more questions to be asked than imaginable. Yet, the formation of an approach to adult leadership development is essential for the future.
One of the great downfalls of the current context within the church is the struggle facing many congregations in the area of leadership.
Congregations are struggling with poorly equipped (at times unqualified) leaders or no leadership at all. Sadly, too many congregations of the Lord’s people have no idea who will fill the needed leadership positions in the days ahead.
A plan needs to developed in each congregation for training, equipping, and developing leaders to prepare for the spiritual warfare currently facing the church.
God’s people need to recognize the challenges before us and the current leadership of today must rise up to prepare leaders for tomorrow.
We should all be aware of the consequences of failing to plan for adult leadership development. What we need is a vision for leadership development in the Lord’s kingdom that will be experienced in the next generation. This will impact our children!
The movie industry is interesting. Take it or leave it, some in the world cannot imagine what it would be like without movies. Personally, it would be interesting to see the world without the movie industry, but this is a post for another time.
A prequel refers to the stories or events preceding an existing work. The idea is fascinating and raises several thoughts connected to leadership.
However, the sequel involves what shows up as part two of an earlier “box office sensation.” The sequel is about what happens next.
Prior to assuming responsibilities in our present work, what events were connected to the story in our lives? The foundational nature of these events has been instrumental in forming who we are today.
The question we may need to consider further is: what are we expecting to happen next? Have we determined the appropriate sequel to where we are now?
Wisdom is built upon remembering the past to understand the present, but vision is cast to prepare for the sequel in our leadership. What do we see?