If we are old enough, we probably remember receiving our first AARP application.
Perhaps we threw it away, denying the reality of aging. Maybe we were excited to receive the benefits associated with an older lifestyle.
While AARP stands for American Association of Retired Persons, we may not feel quite there, at any age. Consider a leadership angle.
Accomplish: Leaders make things happen.
Attitude: Leaders set the tone for everyone. Invest in the right attitude.
Respect: Respect is earned and given. In order to receive it, we must be willing to give it.
Presence: Show up! Our presence provides security and direction for others.
Growing in leadership doesn’t always come with age, but we can work to put all the components in the right place.
Expansion is the action of becoming larger or more extensive. We talk about expanding a program of work, a building project, and even investments.
What about the expansion of our leadership?
We can easily fall into the “comfort zone.” We enjoy the status quo and before long nothing happens. Our leadership needs to be expanded. How?
Read material dealing with the growth of our leadership skills.
Spend time with successful leaders.
Ask God to open doors and grant us wisdom.
If we will get out of the rut and ask for a little help, our leadership will expand to greater levels.
The value of stretching cannot be overstated. Stretching aids the overall recovery of muscles used in exercise or work.
By definition, stretching is the ability to make longer and wider without tearing or breaking.
The best approach is to stretch a little at a time, hold for a few seconds, and relax. Repetition allows for the development of flexibility and relief.
When leaders stretch with regards to vision, goals, and the development of a team, the results bring recovery, growth, strength, and flexibility. Repeating the process increases the benefit.
Stretching is one way to develop quality leaders.
Leaders must be perpetual learners.
Donald Norris, president of Strategic Initiatives, identifies perpetual learning as “much more than lifelong learning on steroids. It is different from lifelong learning in every way.” He clarifies by stating that it involves learning every day, viewing growth in knowledge as a way of life rather than an activity of life.
This type of learning produces three benefits:
…a better understanding of leading people.
…a better vision of the future.
…a better love for life.
When driven to learn from every person we meet, book we read, and experience in life, we grow as leaders.
Where trust exists, growth, development, and lower costs result.
When we trust someone, everything runs more clearly, smoothly, and quickly. However, when trust is not a part of the relationship, there are challenges to what is said and done by everyone.
One of our primary goals in leadership is to establish relationships built on trust.
Trust increases the amount of work accomplished.
Trust decreases the expenses of the overall task.
Trust builds comfort and confidence.
Trust changes everything.
Take time to read Stephen Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust.
What determines success or failure?
Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. It is further identified as the attainment of popularity or profit.
While this is broad, it is also revealing. How often do we consider success only in terms of fame and fortune?
In leadership, we need to remember that true success is defined as…
Remaining true to the course…
Learning from mistakes…
Seeing growth in a positive direction…
Growing the members…
Most may measure success by a profit and loss column, but not in spiritual leadership. True success is measured by God.
Does it surprise us when we pray for patience and then experience challenges? The problem is we want patience, but we want it now! Hmmm!
Too often, we expect growth and maturity as though we were ordering a meal at a drive-thru window. We place our order on one side and expect to have it waiting for us when we reach the other side. No patience required, right?
Church growth requires leaders to be patient. The demonstration of patience is a powerful lesson for all spiritual leaders.
In time, the demonstration of such patience and gentle guidance will yield fruit to the glory of our God.
The Great Divide spans a distance between two objects physically, figuratively, and spiritually.
Abraham spoke of a great gulf between the rich man and Lazarus, so no one could cross over from one side to the other.
A number of areas arise to explain how a great divide is developed regarding spiritual leadership.
1) Pride: When people perceive a leader as prideful, their leadership is no longer effective.
2) Selfishness: A spirit of self-centeredness prevents a leader from seeing the possibilities in others and hinders growth.
3) Prejudice: To prejudge someone or a situation without proper information leaves a leader without good judgment.
The Great Divide can be an insurmountable barrier and destructive to our leadership. We must guard our words and actions to prevent it.
The first quarter of the year is complete.
Most organizations require a quarterly report. This is an evaluation of the work. Corporate leaders want to know the facts and figures contributing to the success or failure of plans to reach projected goals.
Should it be any different for spiritual leadership?
Evaluations are usually difficult. They cause us to examine what we do not want to face and take an honest look at reality. They are necessary. Our integrity will be demonstrated and challenged.
However, a spiritual quarterly report helps us prepare for the next step in growth.
Thanks for listening to “Searching God’s Word” on KTTR.org
Encourage others to LISTEN to “Searching God’s Word” w/ Steve Weeks
M 8 pm, M-W-F 9 am Click for tonight’s lesson: Ephesians 4:7-16