Leadership is a gift. Leadership is a privilege. Leadership, as defined by John Maxwell, is “influence.” Such a global definition of leadership is so inclusive that it would be hard not to recognize yourself as a leader. To that end, whether you are a stay-at-home mom leading your children into purpose, a supervisor leading a staff to accomplish this quarter’s goals, or a minister leading the Joshua generation into promised territory; your character and attitude matter to God.
Earlier this week, I had the honor of speaking to a group of women preparing to launch their new year of women’s ministry. Each one at different places in their lives and spiritual walk yet divinely put together to infuse a local body of believers with the joy, strength, and love of God. It is from that talk that I share a few points with you today.
Walking the road of Christian leadership can sometimes be daunting. It only takes few minutes to realize that as leaders you really do have to work with people. Working with people can sometimes present challenges–just ask Jesus, he had “The Big 12”. There will be times you get excited about things but others don’t always share your enthusiasm. You will find that even in the perfect world of faith things get mixed up and misunderstood. You will definitely find that sometimes you have more ideas and thoughts than resources. Yet, be encouraged and know that God has positioned you for this hour. As you walk the road of leading others, keep these four points in your heart and mind and you should find the road more amiable.
1. Focus. Okay, an old word but here is a new twist. As you lead others focus on the commonalities rather than the differences. We are all different from one another in some way but we are bound together by the love of God. Focusing on differences only increases division, while magnifying the common ground builds unity.
2. Balance. Great leadership flows out of a balanced life. The amount of balance in your natural life is an indicator of the true balance of your spiritual life. If your life is out of balance, it is difficult to serve others at the level God desires. The concept of creating and living a balanced life means having your priorities identified and being true to them. Also, recognizing the importance of knowing when to say, “yes” and when to say “no.” Personal stability is the foundation for leading others with power.
3. Grace. When we mess up, mix it up or otherwise “get it twisted,” we are very quick to understand our situation and give ourselves grace. As a leader be quick to appropriate the same if not more grace to others. Forgiveness and compassion must flow out of you freely.
4. Sanctify your feelings. Be aware that even as a chosen leader everyone won’t agree with you and you won’t always be right. First and always, in the face of disagreement follow the Biblical model for resolution. Next, don’t take it personal. Don’t allow your emotions to take control of you. Believe it or not people are not sitting up at night thinking about how to hurt your feelings. You are called to be lead by the Spirit. Finally, if you make a mistake admit it, fix it, and grow from it. This demonstrates Christ in you and speaks volumes to those you lead.
Again, keep these four points in your head and in your heart as you travel the road of leadership and you will find that as you grow in character, so will your level of influence.
Blessings to you today and always,