“God did not make you a leader to respond to stuff all day. He made you a leader to move things forward.” Bill Hybels
There is something new in me and I can’t put my finger on it. As a leader, I use to find my myself preparing for each meeting, leadership events, and mentoring opportunities but these days I feel that I need less prep time because my leadership and ability to influence others is simply a part of who I am and flows naturally from me.
It reminds me of being a parent. You don’t have to prepare to be a parent. A good parent takes what they’ve learned from life lessons, prays for wisdom, and puts it to practice each day. We don’t rehearse what we teach our children. It’s there.
I now have a confidence and faith that what is in me is out-of-this-world powerful and needs to be gently packaged and delivered to the world. I have something to give. I want to give back. I’ve come to realize that this is what leadership is about.
After being in leadership roles for 18 years, I have come to realize a pattern. I am either moving upward in my leadership or downward. There is no stasis. At which point I’ve come to see a direct parallel with my spiritual maturity. In knowing all wisdom comes from God and all power to love and influence others comes from God, I realize that my leadership power comes from Him. Therefore, my spiritual maturity feeds others.
Spiritual Maturity impacts leadership. Leaders can be on an upward spiritual maturity or on a downward trajectory. There is no such thing as static spiritual maturity! Leadership by definition is leading others onward and goes hand in hand with spiritual maturity.
Lets put this into practice! With trajectory in mind, think back and compare 10 years ago till now. Where were you spiritually then compared to today?
My 10 Year Trajectory
Past Spiritual Condition vs. Present Spiritual Condition
- Prepare to share vs. I am His; therefore He pours out.
- I feel God’s acceptance if I work hard vs. I have God’s acceptance at all times.
- Unworthy to be used by Him vs. I never will be worthy but He wants to use me today.
- I have to change my sin vs. He has to change my sin because I’m incapable.
- Guilt because I didn’t do what He asked of me vs. Forgiveness immediately raining over me when I look towards heaven even before the words come out.
- Habitual sin vs. His presence is too wonderful for sin to take it away.
- I must hurry vs. God is not in a hurry.
- Burdens are heavy vs. light and free in faith and obedience.
- Not sure if God will answer that prayer for salvation vs. praying in His will means the answer is yes whether I see it or not.
- Fear disapproval of man vs. His approval is all I need.
- I’m on my own in this vs. there are armies around me constantly that I cannot see.
- He is on the big things. I have to take care of the little things vs. He wants to help with both because often the killer is in the little things.
- God is serious 100% of the time vs. He is also humorous, joyful, happy 100% of the time and loves to laugh with me!
- Some people are being drawn to God vs. all people are being drawn to Him.
- Some days are ministry days and some days are not vs. all days are His.
- Love when I feel it vs. love as a choice through His power.
Look at your own spiritual journey and the changes in you. These are your pearls of wisdom from God to help bring momentum and life to those you lead! These are teaching points but even more than that, they are powerful because they were learned through trial, pain, and fire. Even more incredible, your pearls of wisdom look different from mine! We all have something to give back as we grow. Take your journey and use it to lead others through theirs.
This reminds me of an incredible event that God puts in place each year to feed thousands of poor people in Cambodia. Their homes are over dry land with no water 6 months of the year and then a dramatic thing happens where a river suddenly and predictably changes directions to fill their land with an enormous lake teeming with fish and watering their rice fields.
What causes that switch? Monsoon rains push the fish into dry land where even puddles have food for the hungry! Give those you lead regular predictable God sized pushes. Encouragement. Gifts. Prayers. Love their children and family for who they are and not what they can do for you. Give good things to those who are out in far places.
What does it take to grow yourself spiritually? Studying hour upon hour on good leadership books and wisdom from the Bible is a piece of that growth, but don’t stop there. Don’t get comfortable behind a desk or your computer. The best “school” is to get out, love, and serve. Get uncomfortable meeting strangers and sharing your life with others. Then, you will grow leaps and bounds spiritually and in your ability to lead. Your circle and team will expand in all directions! Are you ready? Each of you is a leader in some form or another. What will you do today?