The first step in leading is to be heading somewhere.
So many times I’ve seen men, particularly younger guys, act as if real leadership is shown in correcting others. That’s why young men’s sermons often scold. What they haven’t figures out is that you can often accomplish more by encouragement. There are times to scold. But 80 to 90 percent of what you hope to correct can be accomplished through encouragement. If you look back at your life and consider who influenced you the most, you will probably find that it’s the people who believed in you.
Remember always that your work or ministry or position dare never keep you from your family. If you fail them, you fail your greatest responsibility – and you are a failure in life.
The local church is the most complicated and sophisticated organism in the world. It is one thing to lead a group of people who depend upon the organization for livelihood. It is quite another to motivate a group when 99 percent are volunteers!
How do you recognize abusive leadership? Abusive churches and Christian leaders characteristically: Make dogmatic prescriptions in places where Scripture is silent. Rely on intelligence, humor, charm, guilt, emotions, or threats rather than on God’s Word and prayer (see Acts 6:4). Play favorites. Punish those who disagree. Employ extreme forms of communication (tempers, silent treatment). Recommend courses of action which always, somehow, improves the leader’s own situation, even at the expense of others. Seldom do good deeds in secret. Seldom encourage. Seldom give the benefit of the doubt. Emphasize outward conformity, rather than repentance of heart. Preach, counsel, disciple, and oversee the church with lips that fail to ground everything in what Christ has done in the gospel and to give glory to God.
What Happens When Members Don’t Represent Jesus? by Jonathan Leeman taken from Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman, copyright (2012), Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 118-119.
If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing and start leading.
You can never arrive at a real plateau of leadership by insisting that others do your work while you take the glory.
Communication requires courage for the very simple reason that, if your convictions mean anything at all, someone will oppose you. If opposition to your ideas and beliefs offends you, do not attempt to lead. Every leader knows the experience of rejection and opposition. You must prepare for it, expect it, and deal with it when it happens.
Not all managers are leaders, but all leaders are managers.
I stake my life on the priority of right beliefs and convictions, and at the same time I want to lead so that those very beliefs are perpetuated in others. If our leaders are not passionately driven by the right beliefs, we are headed for disaster. At the same time, if believers cannot lead, we are headed nowhere.
Passion is not a temporary state of mind. It is the constant source of energy for the leader, and the greatest cause of attraction for followers… Passion cannot be artificially generated or transmitted. If authentic, it naturally shines through as convictions come to life, as a great mission is undertaken, and as people share the same great passion and join together as one.
The wise leader lays out the alternatives and then walks the organization through the process of understanding which decision or direction is best…Followers learn that decisions are made with strategic thinking, care, and a commitment to truth, and on the basis of convictional intelligence. Leaders who fear acknowledging alternatives to their decisions undermine their own credibility. Oracles have to be infallible. Leaders only have to be right – and that means getting to the right decision for the right reasons.
We cannot buy passion, nor can we simply decide to be passionate… Passion arises naturally or not at all. It happens when convictions come to life, and deep beliefs drive visions and plans. The passionate leader is driven by the knowledge that the right beliefs, aimed at the right opportunity, can lead to earth-shaking changes.
The Christian leader will respect the role of power in leadership but will never glory in it…The Christian leader will serve by leading and lead by serving, knowing that the power of office and leadership is there to be used, but be used toward the right ends and in the right manner. Power can never be seen as an end in itself.
With power and responsibility must come accountability. A leader without accountability is an accident waiting to happen.
Leaders are the stewards of vision, conviction, beliefs, and strategic decisions.
Speaking is an art and a craft, not a science. The most effective speaker’s love language and enjoy telling a tale. They experiment with different ways of using words and sentences, different strategies for constructing messages and talks. Leaders who are good speakers learn to use their voice as an instrument rather than a piece of equipment. They learn how to use humor without becoming comedians; to arouse emotion without selling out to emotionalism; and to make an audience want more, not less, from the speaker.
Average leaders are satisfied to use average words in an average way. Effective leaders, those who aspire to lasting and extended influence, will learn to use words as arrows fired from a bow, carefully chosen and aimed in order to accomplish a purpose.
We all know of those in leadership positions who seem to make vacillation a virtue. This is disastrous. Organizations suffer and even die by indecision, but some people seem to have little or no confidence in their decision-making ability. Are they missing a decision-making gene? No, they lack the courage of their convictions, the discipline of critical thinking, or the confidence of steady leadership.
It is no commendation of our leadership if everything collapses when we are not there or when the time comes for us to leave (Derek Prime and Alistair Begg).
The Church of Jesus Christ does not progress beyond the spiritual progress of its leaders (Derek Prime and Alistair Begg).
Leadership, like other gifts of the Spirit, is for the edifying of the body of Christ. It is not presumptuous, therefore, to feel the desire to lead if we are called to it (Derek Prime and Alistair Begg).
No man, however gifted and devoted, is indispensable to the work of the kingdom.
True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them.
Biblical literacy is not to be confused with Christian maturity. Homiletic accuracy is not the same as godliness. Theological dexterity is very different from practical holiness. Successful leadership is not the same as a heart for Christ. Growth in influence must not be confused with growth in grace.