How many times in the political arena do we hear the thought expressed of someone being extreme left or extreme right?
Being extreme, however, is not limited to the political arena. We quite often find the beast of extremism within the church.
Our responsibility is to learn the difference between biblical doctrine and personal opinion.
Spiritual leaders must find the proper balance to maintain the unity needed within the Lord’s church.
In a time where people try to prevent the world from influencing the church, let us not become so extreme that our actions portray what we are trying to prevent.
In our lifetime, the church has experienced several changes. Some changes have been good and some destructive. While changes occur today, it is safe to say, more changes will come.
Paul Harvey said, “In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.”
Solomon originally expressed it this way, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Leaders will always face challenges. It may be a different generation, culture, gender, age, or time of day, but challenges will come.
Let us seek God’s counsel and listen to His word. Here we will find the true answers to solve these challenges.
One word leaders need to understand for the success of the church is develop.
The apostles continued to emphasize the need for the church to develop. Prayers expressed requests to help the church develop.
Developing faith and relationship with God is a vital responsibility of leadership. We must do the following:
Lead others to a greater love and understanding of truth.
Assist Christians in an understanding and involvement of their abilities in His service.
Encourage the expression of God’s grace through sharing the love of Christ at the cross.
Provide an example in all the above.
Leadership is about development. Let us get started.
Using our head to lead ourselves means we:
…think before we speak or act.
…consider the short- and long-term consequences of our words and actions.
…weigh the evidence and ask evaluating questions before making decisions.
Using our heart to lead others means we:
…devote ourselves to learning and serving the needs of others.
…prioritize our time toward maturity in relationship development.
…risk temporary satisfaction for eternal gain.
It is often said, “To lead yourself, use your head. To lead others, use your heart.”
Let us be mindful to lead others with our hearts. Think Souls!
Why do we fear failure? Whether school, family, business, or even the church, we fear failure. Is failure something to be feared? Can we benefit from failing?
Edwin Land said, “The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
Through failure, Edison learned the necessary components to invent the light bulb.
Through failure, Macy learned how to run a successful business.
Through failure, Orville and Wilbur Wright learned how to fly.
Failure can be devastating, if we allow it. Instead, when used properly, failure becomes the stepping stone to the power of success.
Leadership tends to introduce several interesting twists in the development of leaders and followers.
How do we want others to treat us? With respect, integrity, love, appreciation, patience, etc.? If this is true, then Jesus would say treat others this way first!
We must not be influenced or directed by the practices of culture in our relationships.
It is easy to react, instead of acting as we should. Additionally, we must be careful to guard against overreacting.
Leaders must learn to act in keeping with the way we want others to act.
Generally speaking, leadership involves changing others. From a spiritual perspective, the purpose of our leadership is to change others, right?
However, change must first begin within ourselves. It is easy to ask others to do what we are either unwilling to do or have not done yet.
The power of change starts with us. When we make changes in our own lives first, we set an example for others to see why they must change also.
As leaders in our homes, communities, and the church, let us first work on changing ourselves and then seek opportunity to help others change.
If you and I knew the one secret to prepare ourselves for the changes of life, would we seek it, take it, and apply it in our lives? I know we would. Well, humility is that one secret.
Consider this thought by George Arliss, “Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life.”
Humility acknowledges total dependence upon God, but it is developed over a lifelong.
Humility works each day to put the needs of others above one’s personal needs.
When life happens, humility enables us to handle it appropriately.
The thought sounds crazy, right? Can a leader be normal?
We might need to define normal. However, regardless of how we define it, there is nothing normal about spiritual leadership. Why?
Because spiritual leaders…
…are concerned about their influence inside and outside the church.
…live consistently what they believe.
…know God’s mission involves helping people get to heaven.
…work for a cause greater than themselves.
…share in planning and developing goals for spiritual maturity.
…produce results that glorify God and fulfill His will.
Therefore, spiritual leaders are those who live consistently, knowing the work they share in produces God’s desired will.
Transparency in leadership is often challenging.
Transparency means we take instruction and make application to ourselves first, without an emphasis upon others.
Transparency instills confidence in others that our efforts, both personally and professionally, are always for the good of the whole.
Transparency involves the type of openness in our communication that lays everything on the table, good or bad.
We need greater transparency in leadership. This is the example we find in Jesus, and it is exactly how we should approach our leadership in the church and world today. Think Souls.