Accountability introduces a number of thoughts.
There is the implication of what is required. We are required to be trustworthy, faithful, examples, and people of integrity.
There are certain expectations. If we expect little/more, we get little/more. When leaders make decisions, we expect to be held accountable.
There is an understanding of responsibility. If we are accountable, then certain responsibilities are connected to our decisions and actions.
We will all give an account for our deeds in this life, good and bad. How much more so for leaders who answer to God for leading His people?
Transitions are sentences that build bridges between two parts of communication. These bridges make it easier for people to follow what we’ve said and the direction ahead.
As leaders, the concept of transitions is critical.
We build a bridge in relationships. Establishing and maintaining quality relationships requires effective communication.
We build a bridge for future leaders. Leaders are always needed. We make this transition smooth through mentoring.
We build a bridge to eternity. The task before us is to transition from the physical to the spiritual realm by teaching and example.
Are we building bridges with the right purpose and in the right direction?
Nestled in the concept of an example is our influenceas leaders. We influence people everyday. We influence them in what is right or wrong. The difference is bound up in our example.
Setting an example is associated with consistency. Mahatma Ghandi is noted as saying, “we must become the change we want to see.”
Setting an example is also connected to servanthood. The only time Jesus said “I gave you an example,” involved being a servant.
If we want to be who God desires, we need to understand the significance identified with our example of leadership.
Numerous factors determine the making of a leader. Vince Lombardi said, “Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born, leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work.”
It all comes down to two four lettered words…hard work!
When leaders work hard, their character demonstrates leadership.
When leaders work hard, success is the reward.
When leaders work hard, others will follow their example.
The making of a leader involves a number of areas, but the bottom line is hard work!
What is our purpose? We cannot lead effectively without it.
God had a purpose in sending Jesus.
Jesus had a purpose in going to the cross.
The apostles had a purpose in their preaching.
What is our purpose, yours and mine, in our day to day existence?
Spiritual leadership has but one purpose: lead others to heaven. The reason we strive to live a godly example is to fulfill this purpose.
For this reason we develop relationships with others. Nothing is more important. Nothing is more rewarding. Fulfilling our purpose makes the difference.
One critical challenge for leaders exists in the arena of delegating.
Robert Half said, “Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” The effectiveness of delegating occurs when we lead by example.
Jesus demonstrated this thought with the apostles.
The apostles followed by setting their own example.
Christians are instructed to do the same.
No one is above any task.
No one is too good for the lowest of jobs.
No one is so powerful they are beyond the need for help.
Spiritual leaders must delegate needed work. Delegating this work is never easy, but when we set the right example, enlisting others to help falls into place.
As spiritual leaders, it is important to take a backwards look on the past year.
This Sunday night represents the time people celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Generally, we tend to look at areas of life we want to change and make a resolution to improve in the year ahead.
Rarely do we examine the year and consider the whole of our influence in leadership. When we look back over 2017 we need to ask a few questions.
Were we good stewards of our time in leadership?
Are the lives of others better because of our influence and example in leadership?
How many souls did we reach with the gospel?
Were we able to accomplish the necessary goals for the year?
What changes should be made to better improve our leadership?
These five questions represent a few of many we should consider as we close out this chapter in history. As we set the stage for the year ahead, take a backwards look over the past year, ask a few questions, and make the needed adjustments for 2018.
The life of Jesus is clearly an example of greatness, an example provided that we might follow in His steps. We have considered His compassion and His ability to discuss matters of importance.
Another area of greatness found in the life of Jesus was His suffering. Jesus suffered on numerous occasions. He suffered verbally and physically.
The religious leaders sought to eliminate the perceived threat to their position and power.
The ultimate suffering, however, did not come at the hands of the religious leaders, even though they instigated the procedure.
At the hands of Rome, Jesus would encounter suffering beyond imagination, as He was beaten, ridiculed, mocked with a crown of thorns, spit upon, scourged, and nailed to a cross.
Suffering is not often seen as greatness, but rather a stumbling block and foolishness. However, to those who are saved, it is the power of God.
The purpose of His suffering makes this act of great leadership.
As leaders today, the higher we go in leadership the greater the sacrifice we must make. What leaders willingly suffer becomes a mark of great leadership today also.
Religious and secular articles, books, and posts abound in the field of excellence. Sadly, we live in a time where too many seek to do as little as possible and it has influenced Christians.
Whatever happened to the mindset of excellence, the desire to go above and beyond, to do something well because it is the right thing to do?
Maybe it’s the current culture, the next generation, but why?
Why is it allowed?
Why is it easier to go with the flow?
Why are we comfortable with the status quo?
The church is the bride of Christ and the opportunity to share in this glorious union is the greatest of privileges. To understand God’s grace is to pursue excellence.
We are too comfortable with sitting in the pew week after week hearing sermon after sermon only to make no changes from the week before.
It is time leaders set a better example, to live consistent with their expectations of others, and to motivate followers by working beside them in the trenches instead of lording over them.
Anything worth doing is worth doing right and anything worth doing right is worthy of excellence.
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