Nothing is more comforting than the thought of going home after being away.
The thought of a place where one abides or lives permanently is significant to the nature of home. However, it is the defining qualities of home that makes the difference.
Home is a place of permanence, but what makes it special is the fact it is where one belongs to a family or household. Home is where we are accepted, and nothing is better than going home.
Consider this in relationship to the desire we have to be with our God, where we belong. Here is where we are members of His family. Perhaps this is why the Bible speaks of the comforting nature of the eternal dwelling God has prepared for us.
While on earth, the church should provide the same expression of home. I am not referring to the physical structure where the church meets, but the value of relationships that bring us together as a family, where we belong.
Opposite of the corporate body often connected to the church, leaders need to encourage and strengthen the idea of the church as home.
Leadership definitions abound, and they have for centuries of time. Jim Rohn expresses an idea that provides an incredible thought: “If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.”
The basic understanding of a leader is someone who is able to move others from point A to point B.
A biblical development of leadership prescribes the idea of helping those who are outside of Christ (point A) to turn from a self-directed life to obediently follow the Savior (point B).
A key element of this prescriptive help is an education built on biblical truth.
The wrong road is one that only ends in destruction. The need is urgent and relevant to every soul we encounter on a daily basis.
These precious souls need encouragement, but they also need education to turn around and pursue a different course, a course that enables them to to find eternal hope.
The list of leaders throughout the Bible is extensive. Each leader selected would hold significance for a variety of reasons, depending on the individual.
One such leader in the Old Testament is Moses. An examination of his life indicates the grooming of a godly leader who represents wisdom, strength, and tenacity.
A key thought expressed by Moses as he neared the end of his life is found in the last sermon of Deuteronomy.
As Moses addressed the nation of Israel he presented them with a blessing and a curse, life and death. He urged them to choose life that they might live.
Amidst the challenges of leadership in this postmodern, excessively individualistic world, perhaps the simple approach to the choices offered by Moses can redirect our attention to the heart of the matter.
God extends the same offer now as He did through Moses: a blessing and a curse, life and death. The choice is made by each individual.
As leaders, our task is to appeal to choose wisely, choose life that they might live.
When leaders are instrumental in creating a movement, a group of people are involved in collective action to advance political, social, artistic, or religious ideas.
A movement exists when individual experience, or passion, takes on a life of its own within a diverse array of individuals and grouping in such a way that it sustains and reproduces itself as it works to bring about a common end.
The following characteristics provide a description.
First, movements are made up of individuals and independent groupings that come together to achieve a common goal.
Second, what holds these individuals and independent groupings together are personal, structural, and ideological ties.
Third, committed individuals at all levels use existing, significant social relationships to recruit others.
Fourth, members of a movement have had an identity-transforming experience that brings about a lifestyle change.
Fifth, overall unity in such a diverse collection of people requires a common ideology.
Sixth, opposition is part of the glue that holds this diverse collection together.
Consider how these thoughts connect to the movement that binds us together as Christians and how leaders can use this to change the world.
The idea of a self-differentiated leader may or may not be familiar. Edwin Friedman is one of several authors who has identified a number of concepts associated with a self-differentiated leader.
Three ideas represent a foundation for our consideration.
They know who they are: There is clarity about their life goals and possess a great self-awareness.
They are part of the system, but not controlled by it: They can be separate while remaining connected, manage their own reactivity to others, and are less likely to become lost in the anxious emotional processes around them.
They are able to take stands at the risk of displeasing others: As a steward who balances presence and technique, they have the ability to deal with the super responsible and vulnerable.
Spiritual leaders certainly face situations where the maturity of leadership is needed. The process of developing into a self-differentiated leader is a journey to that maturity.
Within the church, a move to equipping leaders under this umbrella will provide a greater maturity in leadership for the future.
In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, he mentions that we walk by faith and not by sight.
A definite article is present in the original language indicating that we walk by the faith. Paul is emphasizing the need for Christians to live a life guided by the word of God. His word provides us with direction, motivation, and a secure foundation upon which to stand.
Naturally, leaders have a responsibility to follow the same direction in leadership. When leadership is guided by God’s word, the results are significant.
There is confidence in knowing the direction is guided by God, Himself. The wisdom and knowledge of God is the basis for the direction in His word. Leaders cannot go wrong with His guiding hand.
God’s word provides the greatest purpose for character formation. Leaders begin with developing themselves, and then lead others to demonstrate Christ-like character.
Leaders know there is strength when grounded in the truth. Overcoming the obstacles of leadership requires strength, not personal strength, but spiritual strength that is only found in truth.
Let us always lead by the faith.
In comparison to theory or idea, when something is practical it involves the ability and opportunity to actually do it. The approach to something that is practical indicates it is suitable for a particular purpose.
Interestingly enough, the word practical is based in and comes from the word practice. Practice not only indicates an activity that is to be accomplished, it also involves a discipline of continuing to work on the activity to improve the quality of the product or result.
Application within leadership is also an area deserving attention.
Consider what leadership would look like and how it changes the involvement of those who follow when there is a practical approach to the programs implemented to reach goals.
Leaders are needed who think, act, and lead practically. Discipline, as demonstrated in the practice of activities, must follow.
Followers need to know how to practically apply this leadership.
Several spiritual disciplines (prayer, study, fasting, etc.) point to the character of leadership that promotes a practical approach for developing godly leaders.