Growing up in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, basketball practices were filled with efforts by players who coveted a starting position on the team.
We learned leadership based on teamwork. Those days laid a foundation for understanding spiritual leadership where the same is true. It is leadership based on teamwork.
Leadership is often viewed as a lonely position. This is not true for spiritual leaders.
We are a team. We must work together as a team. If we are going to change the world, we need Christ and we need each other!
We should all strive to get involved on this team.
What would it be like to trade places with someone else? After all, others seem to have it so much better than we do.
The Psalmist questioned a similar thought when considering the prosperity of the wicked.
If our view of leadership is limited to what we can accumulate or accomplish in this life, we have misunderstood the true nature of God’s promise.
If our view of leadership is confined to what others think or say about us, we have lost sight of the value of this God given role.
It is time to lay aside the temptations of the world and recognize the urgency of the spiritual need of all. Think Souls!
What does it take to get our attention and move us into action for the Lord?
Will the majority of seven billion people in the world who are lost?
Perhaps there is the decline in morality that surrounds us.
Maybe it is the spread of error on unknowing hearts.
Could it be the grace of God given in the Savior who came to die for the world?
Whatever it is, our attention is needed and we must move into action to lead others to the only hope given to the human race.
Too many have sold out to the highest bidder. In the pursuit of greater numbers positions on truth have been altered. Challenge and controversy are avoided to gain popularity and profit.
To overcome the problems of immorality and indecency, we must make a stand.
To help the church mature as God designed, we must make a stand.
To help those who are lost find the true hope of salvation, we must make a stand.
The task is not easy. Conflict and controversy will arise. Trying to avoid it, sweep it under the rug, deny it exists, or hope it just goes away and resolves itself, will not work.
The world and the church need men ready to lead. How do we measure up?
Languages are not a strong suite for most of us. Imagine the difficulty of communicating within the multiplicity of languages around the world.
However, the key to communicating effectively involves understanding.
The ability to communicate so others understand is vital to our leadership.
Goals must be communicated in ways everyone understands.
Plans should be communicated effectively.
Roles and responsibilities must also be understood.
Above all, leading others to Christ demands communicating the message of the cross in ways they can understand.
Nearly 2,000 years ago this question was asked by a governor with the power to deliver or destroy. Sadly, the influence of the Jews and fear of allowing a threat to Rome go free moved Pilate to crucify Jesus.
How we answer this question becomes foundational to our influence in several areas of life.
Family:Let us lead our family to heaven.
Job:Work to please Christ, not men.
Worship: Meet with God and bring a gift.
World: Be the influence our world needs.
What will we do? Our answer makes the difference in others seeing the influence of Jesus.
Our lives fall into three major categories: home, world, and church. Amazingly, when we are out of balance in one, the other two are affected.
Leaders have a tremendous responsibility to cautiously approach the work consumption syndrome and not lose sight of the focus needed in the church and home. When we are imbalanced, everything suffers, even our work.
Ultimately, when the spiritual element of our life is not prioritized, nothing else works.
Our task begins with establishing the right priorities and lead from that position.
Following the crowd, the latest fad or trend, or jumping on the bandwagon, are familiar phrases.
Is this what our leadership is all about? Do we simply want to fit in with what appears to be the latest and greatest?
We need leaders who stand out. We need leadership who lift up the Light of the world. Such leadership stands out in a world of darkness.
Why is it so important to stand out when it seems easier to follow the crowd?
Following the majority can have severe and eternal consequences. Jesus teaches this principle in the Sermon on the Mount.
Our path is a matter of choice. The choice we make influences others. If it helps others get to heaven, then standing out in or from the crowd is worth it.
If the church where you and I attend were to disappear tomorrow, would anyone in the community know? Would anyone care?
Those two questions are chilling and convicting for me. I fear the answers and it directly relates to the impact we have in the world where we live.
Have we become so inward-focused that we no longer recognize the influence the church must have in the community?
Something may just be missing in our leadership and we need to consider what can be done––what must be done––to lead God’s people in rebuilding the reputation of the church.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” We are familiar with the words of the song. We also know the words of our Lord: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Certainly, it is the time of year when our minds are focused on giving and receiving gifts.
What gift is best suited for an individual on our list?
As we consider the nature of this time of year, spiritual leaders need consider the words of Paul: “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.”
Paul was willing to give of himself in every way for the benefit of others. Specifically, he desired their salvation. In a self-serving and self-driven world, it is challenging to find those who desire more the nature of giving than receiving. However, as spiritual leaders, our focus must be on giving ourselves to others so that they might be saved.
I pray our spiritual leadership is of such nature that we look for ways to give of ourselves to help direct people to heaven.