So you want to be a leader? Well, to sort of quote St. Paul, “That’s great!” But remember what a well known leader said. “Being a leader is like running a cemetery. You have a lot of people under you but none are following.”
Most of the great leaders of history have one thing in common. They probably never read a book on leadership. But we stand on the shoulders of these giants. The church must have winning leaders like them to get the job done. Below are the names of some giants in boldface along with some of their winning traits.
Depend on God. Jesus often said He could do nothing without the Father, then just before his death he told us, Without me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NKJV .You can’t be a winning leader for Him if He doesn’t work through you. Lack this single trait and all others are useless. Depend on Him and you will be successful. Leaders in the church who lack this trait may have success for a while, but eventually they will hurt the church and themselves. As the water wheel yields to the river’s current, we must learn to yield to God. Paul was a great leader but he had to learn to discover his own powerlessness. My power is made perfect in (your) weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9. When we get up in the morning, our first thought must be, “God, I can’t do it without you. I need you today. Please work through me. Fill me with your Spirit.” Continue to do this and you will be fruitful in His kingdom. “I’m learning to lean, learning to lean, learning to lean on Jesus.” (lyrics by John Stalling).
Magnanimity. “Love your enemies. It will drive them crazy.” (Anon.) If you don’t already have enemies, you will. God puts them in our life to test us. Plot to defeat them and you will fail. Forgive and pray for them, and you will win. David was a winner because He was a man after God’s own heart. Like Jesus, he forgave and even defended those who turned against him—Saul, Absalom and others. Forgiveness is the single most powerful act of love we will ever perform. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Martin L King. Abraham Lincoln didn’t just say “with malice toward none; with charity towards all,” he lived it. He forgave his bitterest rivals and then appointed them to high office. Secretary of War Stanton had been Lincoln’s enemy, yet when the president died, he wept at his bier, saying “He now belongs to the ages.”
Be an Encourager. ..the apostles called him Barnabas, which means “one who encourages others.” (Greek: paraclete). Acts 4:36 CEV The apostles recognized Barnabas to be filled with God’s Spirit, because, like the Spirit, he was an encourager. God still seeks Barnabases to encourage, not discourage others. Will you be one? Just think. If Barnabas hadn’t recognized Paul’s greatness and brought him to the apostles, would the church have exploded on the Roman world and turned it right-side-up? Jesus was an encourager. He met Simon and instantly knew how wishy-washy and impulsive he was. Yet he told him, “You are Peter, my rock.” And Peter became one! (The) God of all encouragement; who encourages us…that we may be able to encourage those in any tribulation….through the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged of God. 2 Cor 1:3-4 Darby
Stay posted for more leadership traits and welcome to the conversation. We would like to know: have you had any giants in your life?