What makes leadership extraordinary? The answer(s) to the question become quite subjective depending on the situation.
From a Biblical perspective, Jesus put together a group of extraordinary men and entrusted them with a message that changed the world.
It was not their educational level, charisma, social standing, economic strength, or immeasurable talent that made them extraordinary.
They were selected because they believed in Jesus as the Christ and they were willing to submit themselves to His Lordship.
We need leaders today who believe in Jesus and submit to His Lordship. We need leaders who give their lives to the cause of Jesus. We need leaders who stop at nothing to carry out the work entrusted to them (us).
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.
Every individual has talent in one way or another. Some have more and some less, but everyone has talent. We need to remember a statement made by Jose Marti, “Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making.”
Two major ideas stand out.
First, talent is a gift. There is not enough space to dig into all the details of this statement. We all have opportunities to develop our talent. Through education or experience we can develop natural gifts and improve the use of our talent to serve others.
Second, there is an obligation to use our talents to serve the greater good. To think that the abilities we have are only for ourselves is an incredible act of narcissism. As stated above, the talent we have is not of our making. The obligation we must fulfill is to serve the good of others.
The application of this thought could be one of the most world changing steps in leadership. This example, as demonstrated by godly leaders, illustrates one of the most significant forms of biblical love.
Our world is competitive. In nearly every area of life we find competition. Children learn early how to compete. They compete for the attention of parents, with siblings, school-mates, and in athletics.
Sadly, when we reach adulthood competition does not change. In fact, it usually increases. We become so competitive we lose sight of everything except winning. And, far too often we are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
We see this in sports, the political arena, educational realm, and religious circles. We become consumed with proving we are better than anyone else; we are right and it leads us to assume others naturally want to be like us.
I received an interesting quote recently, which seems to be appropriate, ”I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before.” Unknown
Imagine the difference if leadership was built on this mindset, especially if coupled with the character of helping others improve themselves.
At times, a phrase evokes a well-house of emotions and strength. We possess the mental fortitude to influence the direction situations and the lives of others, but we often do not follow through because we think it will not make a difference. After all, what difference can one person make?
History records the powerful impact of one person. Vince Lombardi, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks, and many more influenced the direction of teams, nations, and cultural mindsets.
The challenge surfaces when we consider the need for confidence, the type of confidence that believes we are the one who can and will make the difference.
A higher degree of education, social status, political appointment, or corporate position are not needed to influence situations that alter the course or direction.
Above all, we must allow God to use us as that influence. We can be that one!
Imagine the impact that could be made when leaders work together in the church to influence the direction of the world. Jesus took twelve men and turned the world upside down. Is it possible the same could be said of leaders today?
The value of education is recognized by the efforts put forth in the family to ensure children attend school. As parents, we want our children to learn how to read and write, to understand the history of our country and world, and to gain a perspective of math and science. Of course, there are numerous other subjects that fall into this category.
However, do we grasp the urgency of a spiritual education? New Testament authors emphasize God’s plan for the church to grow. God expects us to grow (Hebrews 5:12), commands us to grow (2 Peter 3:18), and designed the church that it would grow (Ephesians 4:11-16).
With the emphasis on spiritual growth, leaders must take a more serious look at the situation and how we can better equip God’s people.
We are responsible not just to teach, but to teach others “how” to learn from God’s word in order that they might teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
If we value what we learned from someone who took the time to teach us, then we need to imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
We are all familiar with this common phrase. The idea is that no matter what happens in life, or what the need might be, there is an app for it.
Generally, this thought is pretty accurate. There are apps that deal with health, fitness, world news, travel, banking, social media, photography, weather, education, leadership, and the list is unending. You may be one of those reading today’s post from the Leadership Fund app right now. If so, thanks!
More to the point: when we consider the far reaching nature of our leadership, are we influencing others in areas concerning life’s circumstances and their various needs?
Imagine the impact on others if they knew that leaders were a resource they could turn to instead of a technological device.
Granted, leaders are not equipped to address “every” area of life. However, the greater our ability to provide answers to the circumstances and needs of life, the greater our opportunity to influence others in the right direction. Ultimately, isn’t this why we are leading?