The closer you get to Jesus, the more powerful you become as a leader.
The value in our own walk with Christ is not only to make us into all that He desires for us to become, but to be the light of the world. We are called to make a difference in this life, and the closer our walk with Jesus, the bigger difference we will make in a world that desperately needs hope and love.
Why is this?
Jesus was the most powerful leader who has ever walked this earth. I would define ‘powerful leadership’ as both how many followers you have, and the effect you have on others’ lives for the good. Jesus wins hands-down on this measurement. Therefore, we need to learn how Jesus led, and get our power, insight and direction from Him.
The problem is that the Bible is very clear that “God’s ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Here are some things the Bible challenges us with in regards to powerful leadership:
- Humility trumps lording over people.
- Great leaders know it is not about them, but about inspiring followers to a transforming vision.
- Wisdom comes from multiple voices. Listening trumps talking.
- The things we see are not the real and important things. The unseen things are more valuable than we know.
- You cannot fake leadership. In the end we are all “found out.” Leaders know that the biggest challenge they have is in leading themselves, not others. Leading is just as much about who you are as what you do.
- You can’t lead without knowing those you lead and being known by your close followers. This, in turn, casts a big shadow. When you make a point to know your team, they are more likely to do the same with the people around them.
- You can do nothing of eternal importance without being grafted into Jesus who is the fruit-producing vine. We are only the branches. (John 15)
- An intimate relationship with Jesus that is lived out daily, moment by moment, is the whole ballgame.
What is your reaction to these leadership concepts? Many of these I have heard and believed for a long time. But these truisms only empower you as a leader when you actually put them into practice, constantly and faithfully working them into your daily life. We know from experience that this is a nonstop battle. Our own humanity works against this and the evil in our world tries to interfere with the transforming process that Jesus wants to carry out in the lives of leaders.
As President and C.E.O. of CRISTA Ministries, it is my hope that every one of our leaders sees the purpose and value of walking the narrow path. We do this by recognizing that everything we do, great or small, has great significance.
Someone once asked the Pope how he is able to carry the burden of his office and to get so much done in a day. His answer was that he rises early and prays for five hours before he starts the day. “How can you actually do more when you’re spending so much time alone?” came the reply. The simply answer was, “how can I get anything done without being on God’s agenda every moment of the day?”
Jesus called this the narrow gate. I want to be a leader who goes through that gate!
President Bob Lonac