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.
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M 8 pm, M-W-F 9 am Click for tonight’s lesson: Ephesians 3:1-13
I enjoy reading new material, especially when it focuses on passion. Most agree that passion is the difference maker to success.
Darren Hardy’s book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, talks about “Four Passion Switches.” These switches are below with a snippet of what they reference.
Be passionate about what you do: This one is the most common. People talk about their passion for what they do, but maintaining this level of passion 100 percent of the time is challenging.
Be passionate about why you do it: The mission and vision that drives what a leader does adds another level to passion and when we understand why, passion increases.
Be passionate about how you do it: This switch represents going above and beyond, not just settling for good enough or the status quo. How speaks to the importance of quality.
Be passionate about who you do it for: Hardy refers to this as the “means-to-an-end” switch. Knowing who benefits: family, community, country, etc. drives passion upwards.
I am excited to read more and encourage you to find ways to increase your passion as a leader.
A quick read through several vision and mission statements, as they connect to a variety of organizations, highlights the need to understand the difference between these two words.
It is not uncommon, in an effort to provide a vision and mission statement, to get the ideas reversed, and rightfully so, since they are interrelated.
The mission of an organization, specifically the church, describes “what we do.” The foundation is built on the purpose of our existence and the mission directs every decision for all related activities.
The vision of an organization, again, as it relates to the church, describes what we desire to see accomplished as a result of the mission. The vision takes into consideration the image of the future that connects our long-term desires with achievable goals.
We must communicate both the vision and mission if we hope to achieve any level of success.
Several resources are available to help with these ideas. John Kotter’s book, Leading Change, along with Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, are two great places to start.
The idea of mission assumes many forms and definitions. A mission often relates to accomplishing specific tasks within a designated time frame. These tasks connect to military tactics, political advancements, corporate positioning, and religious direction.
The most important mission refers to the work of our God and His directives for those who follow Him. We often refer to this as the Great Co-mission. However, God’s mission goes back much further than the Gospel accounts.
God’s mission was established before the foundation of the world (Ep. 1:4), promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-4), prophesied concerning a descendant of David (2 Sam. 7:12), fulfilled in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (Mt. – Jn.), and directed through the apostles for the church (Mt. 28:19-20; Ep. 4:11-16).
Leaders play a significant role in the mission of God. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, God instructed leadership. Specific individuals were directed by God to lead His people to a better place.
If our mission today does not align with His mission, then we need to refocus our purpose.
One of the keys to success in construction is not only the ability to read a blueprint, but continually evaluating the blueprint to make sure there are no deviations from the plan.
Consider the problems that arise when someone looks at a blueprint one time and never goes back to see if the plans are being followed correctly.
Spiritually, if we are not continually returning to the blueprint of God’s word to ensure we are following the plans…well, the result is what we have witnessed in our world today. Variations made from salvation to worship have created division and weakened our efforts to reach out to a world deep in postmodern and emerging theories.
The problem can be summed up in the lack of leadership that returns to the blueprint to evaluate the plan given by God.
Only when we return to evaluating the plan and implementing the mission of God, will we be able to resolve the issues of division and renew our efforts of outreach. The task falls to us as leaders to learn the value of evaluation.
One of the essential components of leadership is vision. Each year leadership students are required to do an assignment where they interview a political, educational, cooperate, and religious leader. One of the questions they ask involves the most important quality to the organization: core values, mission, or vision.
It is fascinating to learn which leader claims vision to be the most important and to read their explanation.
In the construction industry, when leaders examine blueprints they must demonstrate an ability to see the finished product in their mind. Only when they see it in their mind can they follow the blueprint accurately.
Spiritual leaders must demonstrate the same ability. To help Christians reach the goals set before them, leaders must see what it looks like in their mind.
Casting this kind of vision before others will help them stay focused and energized for the journey.
Mistakes are easily made during the construction phases when there is no vision. As Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained” (Pro. 29:18). The same is true for both the construction of buildings and the growth of the church.
A mission refers to the objective or purpose to be achieved. Understanding this definition should cause us to ask, “What is our mission?
What is our objective or purpose? What are we really trying to achieve? Do we have a mission?
Sadly, as spiritual leaders, our mission often gets skewed because the mission becomes more about us than God.
It often becomes more about what we want to achieve, rather than what God wants us to achieve.
As mentioned before, there is a growing trend of extremism. The problem of extremism occurs when dealing with “party” issues, “petty” ideas, or “personal” opinions become the focus in our life. Far too often, we gradually lose sight of God’s mission.
This is why leadership must remain balanced.
Leadership must know and believe in the priority of God’s mission.
As leaders we must be honest enough to examine ourselves more closely and ask hard questions about whose mission we are fulfilling.
Let us arise and lead God’s people in unity, and let us work together to fulfill God’s mission.