To summarize is to use fewer words to encompass the whole of the previous message.
If we were to summarize our leadership in a few words, what would we say? Could we express it in a word or two, or a sentence or two? Would our leadership be summarized by…
An “others-interested” or “self-interested” perspective?
A spiritual or physical focus?
Our past, present, or future?
In reality, the fewer words we use the more challenging it can be to summarize our leadership.
It is worth our time to think about summarizing our leadership.
Leading is a gift best given, not received. Calvin Coolidge said it best, “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
The Western mindset generally leans more toward what we receive. After all, “What’s in it for me?”
True leadership and honor are connected to giving.
When we give ourselves to the task of leading others, then the spiritual outcome saves souls.
We need leaders. We need spiritual leaders. Will we give ourselves to leading others today?
This is where honor is rewarded. Think Souls!
We live in such a self-centered world. Our efforts and concerns are primarily structured around a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality.
This mindset is subtly developed and so difficult to overcome. Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Think about the significance of this thought in relationship to spiritual leadership. We fail miserably and our legacy is meaningless unless we learn from this thought.
All we do should be done for others. This is what truly lasts. Think Souls!
Alfred Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
Far too often, leadership deals with the bottom-line mentality. What we measure is important, but the value of influence, cultivating character development, or meditative prayer cannot be measured. Yet, they are life changing.
We may have multiplied thousands of dollars invested, but what is it really worth? We may have many people sitting in the pews, but are they spiritually mature? We may spend hours reading the Bible, but do we apply it properly?
Our leadership may not always be measured, but it should count for something.
Jesus said we are the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.” This indicates the difference we make in the world.
Then Jesus said something interesting, “If the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything…”
Good involves health, specifically good health.
When used in the context of leadership influence, we find a powerful idea.
As leaders, our influence should contribute to the spiritual health and well-being of others.
When heaven is the destiny, our leadership must be good for others to reach the destination.
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.
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.
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.
Tonight, our world closes the chapter on one year and turns the page to another that is new, untarnished, clean, pure, and open to all God has in store for us.
Tonight, most people will make resolutions related to their physical health and well-being. However, we need an emphasis on our spiritual health and well-being, especially as we lead into the vast new year ahead.
Now is the time.
Now is all we know with certainty.
Reflect on the past year, but look ahead into the new with a motivation to act, to lead now!
Is it possible to lead others without knowing them? Leadership requires an awareness of the dreams, aspirations, hopes, desires, and personal goals of others in order to lead them well.
Then, leaders can look out for their well-being. It has been said, “If you take care of those under you, they will take care of you.”
Needs are categorized by physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual areas, and leaders know the necessity of each.
Godly leaders know it is essential to prioritize with a focus on the greatest need. Think Souls!