Originally published Monday, 10 April 2017.
Do you believe in your heart that God is calling you to be a leader? Whether it’s at work, in your community, or in ministry, do you feel that tug? Some of you reading this may already be in a leadership position, but I believe there’s always room for growth…especially spiritually. Wherever you are at this point in the process, I believe that God has placed this post on my heart to share these helpful nuggets with you as He makes you into the leader that He has called you to be!
Now, let’s dive in! When God is making us into the leaders that He has called us to be, we have to try to wrap our minds around the fact that it takes time to make a great leader. So be patient with your leadership, yourself, others, and most importantly…God. Not only that, but it takes humility, proper training, personal growth through prayer, God’s Word and various sound teachings, tests, trials, self-discipline, staying faithful, and so much more. What I’ve found over the years is that to be a great leader, you will be proven.
And this means being proven by leadership, how we handle stress, tests, trials, assignments, and God’s people. In this post, I’m going to focus on certain points that I pray will be helpful to you as God shapes and molds you into the Christ-like leader that He desires you to be. So here goes…
Servant Leadership – This kind of leadership, I believe is what God desires of us. Corporate America teaches us to lead another way, but God’s way of leadership is through servant-hood. Keep in mind, Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28-NLT). So if we are going to be Christ-like leaders, then we are going to have to learn how to lay down our lives for others and genuinely serve those whom we lead. If you don’t really know how to do this, pray and ask God to show you when and how to implement this action. Also, here are a couple of good resources entitled, “Leading from the Heart: Choosing to be a Servant Leader” by Jack Kahl and “God’s Secret to Greatness: The Power of the Towel” by David Cape & Tommy Tenney.” Listen, sis. In order to be a leader, you have to be a servant. Jesus teaches us this principle in Matthew 20:26, “…Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” (NLT) So serve well.
Letting Go of Bossiness – This type of leadership gets us nowhere. God is ultimately the Boss. We work for Him. And if we don’t want to be fired, demoted, or unqualified for the job, then we have to learn how to lead with humility. Humility means meekness. And meekness means being gentle, patient, mild, and not inclined to anger or resentment. Loaded right?! Sometimes, it may even look like you’re weak and you may even feel embarrassed at times or hurt when being humble. But this is ultimately God’s way and His process for honor and promotion. God loves working with humble people, because their reliance is totally on Him.
First Peter 5-6 tells us, “…And all of you, serve one another in humility, for ‘God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good timing he will honor you.” (NLT) There it is! If we want to be good leaders and receive God’s favor upon our lives, then we have to be humble. The bossiness has to go! Because in all actuality, that’s pride. And God hates it. So let’s practice leading with humility.
Don’t Micromanage – Been there! Don’t do it. All it does is aggravate people and it makes more work for you. Learn to delegate. I love it! It takes a load of stress off of you, and it allows you to focus more on what you need to do. Know that we’re all working together to get the job done. So, if you hire someone to do a job or fill a role – by all means, follow-up with them, but don’t micromanage them. Trust that he or she can get the job done. Give them the opportunity and the freedom to utilize their gifting, make mistakes, and grow. You and I are not the master of all things. Only God is…so let Him work through those whom He’s chosen you to lead to get the mission accomplished. You’ll be amazed at the peace you experience, the new relationship formed, and the end result. *I’ll tell you, the best boss that I’ve ever had not only encouraged me to do a good job, but he also trusted me to do what I was hired to do! And I’ll never forget his great leadership. ;-)
Lead with Intention – In other words, please lead. Have some goals in mind, share them with those you lead, and be intentional. Don’t expect people under your leadership to automatically know what to do. Train them. Jesus taught His disciples. He didn’t just say, “Okay, go out and change the world.” No, He spent time with them, taught them what they needed to know when He wouldn’t be around, and then He gave them the power to do what they needed to do. That’s a great leader! So take the time to spend time with those entrusted to you, care about them (not just the job or assignment), love them, train or teach them, and lead with intention.
Take Care of Yourself as a Leader- Meaning…Take care of yourself spiritually and physically. First Timothy 4:7 says, “…spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical fitness has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important.” As leaders, we have to train spiritually. We have to study God’s Word, meditate on it, memorize it, and most importantly, do what it says. It doesn’t make sense to go to church, hear a message, or read a good article, blog, or Scripture and not OBEY what it says. That is deception according to what James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Now, let me also say here, that the Bible is not telling us that exercise is not important. Yet, it’s simply telling us that spiritual fitness is much more important than it. So we still have to take care of our bodies. And we have to rest and please enjoy life. Take a nap, break, or mini-vacation. Schedule a massage, refresh or recharge your battery by going to a leadership seminar and/or Christian women’s conference. This is totally healthy on so many levels! In the end, they will work together to help you endure this race to the finish line well.
Managing Stress & Emotions as a Leader – No doubt, this is a tough one, especially for women in leadership. However, as a Christ-like leader, we have to be able to manage stress and our emotions better (particularly when we’re on assignment or deadline). Don’t let the crunch make you into a meanie cat! We still have to have fruit when we work together and when we’re under immense pressure. Jesus teaches us in John 15:8, “My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.” So you see, we have to lead with character. (See Galatians 5:22-23).
Actually, I believe this is when God is watching us the most. He’s watching us to see how we handle stress and His people as a leader. This is crucial, because we don’t want to hit the rock like Moses did in Numbers 20, right? Instead, we want to be like “Joshua!” Our goal is to go into the promise land, not forfeit it because of the people or uncontrolled emotions. God knows how to deal with the people. Our job is to lead them through our obedience to the Father, and by extending grace, mercy, and love, while keeping our emotions at bay. When we do this, God will be glorified!
Personally, I’ve discovered over the years that managing our emotions has a lot to do with our mindset. Just think about what you’re thinking about (Joyce Meyer quote). If we renew our minds with the Word of God, while setting our affections on things above and not on this earth, we’ll not only experience God’s amazing peace, but we’ll be able to manage our emotions and stress levels a whole lot better. The next time you’re in an emotional hot spot, try these biblical principles and see what happens. Also, here are a few extra Scripture references: Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:2, Isaiah 26:3, and Philippians 4:8.
*Listen sis. God makes leaders. It doesn’t just happen. Nothing happens by chance with God. So while you wait on those God promotions or walk in them, follow His lead to become a good leader. I know, this is far from easy. But anything that comes easy, doesn’t last.
It’s through God’s training process that He produces fruit that will remain, an anointing that destroys the yokes, and prepares you to handle His calling for your life. That’s right…His calling. We have to always remember that it’s His plan, not ours. We’re just the vessels that He chooses to use to get the job done. ;-)
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
*Recommended books, “A Leader in the Making” by Joyce Meyer and “How to Enjoy Balanced Emotions” by Dr. Beverley Wolmarans (Call 210-490-2393 or visit www.christianfamilychurchsa.com for this resource).
QUESTION: Are you a leader? Or do you believe or know that God is training you to become a good leader at this time? How are things going? If you would like me to join you in prayer on something pertaining to leadership, you can either write it here or email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.
ALSO, just want to encourage you to grab my NEW book, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” ORDER IT TODAY right here on Amazon.com! And if you already have it and have read it, please give me a REVIEW on Amazon.com. Thanks so much in advance.
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