military officer received this painful evaluation: "His
men follow him ... but only out of
an assessment is hardly flattering. But the same might
be said of countless leaders in our culture ... and the
church. Without a compelling vision or a deep compassion
to motivate those around us, little is left but
curiosity. And it's not enough.
for Christian leaders, the phrase "Business as usual" is
an indictment, not an achievement, unless that business
involves leading people intentionally into a deeper walk
with Christ. It should be obvious to most seasoned
believers that the Church often suffers from a
maintenance mentality. Don't upset the apple-cart; don't
rattle the cage; if it ain't broke, don't fix it; steady
as she goes; hold the line.
contentment with what is or what was,
is inconsistent with our biblical call to be salt and
light. Ever tried to contain or remove salt, once you've
added it to the recipe? Ever tried to control where the
light goes once you flick on the switch? In a similar
way, the privilege of leadership in the Kingdom is about
influence not maintenance. Leadership looks ahead not
behind. It paints a picture of the future, not the
the crisis of purposeless leadership continues to be
pandemic in the Church.
that in mind, two questions arise.
are you influencing those around you? As a
Christian parent, you're a leader of your children. Many
of us are leaders in the workplace or the church.
How strategic are you in influencing others? Our failure
to be strategic simply minimizes what the Lord might
achieve. While we may hope that character can be
compelling, our greatest service to others will involve
planning and methodical implementation. Without it,
maintenance or decline are the default
second question also warrants consideration.
are you influencing others towards?
Leaders, by definition, are guiding people from one
point to another. Managers may simply organize what
already exists, but leaders are a part of creating a new
reality for those around them. What is the new reality
you see ahead for those you lead?
that new reality is peace and reconciliation, or intoacy
with Christ, or service that saves lives, or giving that
builds new communities.
the year gets underway, let's consider "why" anyone
would follow our lead, whether it's our children, our
neighbors, a small group, a class, a recovery
group, a worship ministry, or pastoring. Let's resolve
to guide those around us into the best year we've ever
experienced together - to the glory of Christ.