Do you have what it takes to be a leader? Everyone wants to lead they think the path is an easy one no matter where you are in the life.
How about for those who are believers? They are held to a higher standard. Christians need grace, wisdom, humility, and a game plan to succeed in the world of leadership at home and in business. The Christian heartbeat in the marketplace is more than a calling, it is a mission—something we lose track of. Advancing the Kingdom is the goal, not just making money and climbing a ladder of success. Sociologist Max Weber studied authority and the business model of leadership. Most people gravitate towards a charismatic leader, rather than a traditional authority figure who doesn't allow autonomy, we do the same in the church. This sets these leaders apart from the world. Christian don’t want to lead by showing a fist linked to fear, they crave more of the platform given--something that is bigger than a paycheck. That is God. That’s what makes a believer different in leadership roles. Here are ways to unearth and uncover the Christian leader in you!
We need to discover the heart of God as this is the eternal lens that drives us. Author Richard J. Mouw, was the president of Fuller Theological Seminary from 1993 until 2013. He wrote extensively on global leadership and leadership within the church. "One of the great truths I have learned through the years is that God is holy and that we are commanded to be holy. But we cannot be holy and have His righteousness apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. As I have traveled around the world, I have seen God do incredible things. Yet, as Jesus said, 'Without me, you can do nothing.' So none of us can boast--only rejoice over what God has done and have the assurance that He is with us!”
Don’t do a task half-heartedly wrote popular writer Dave Ramsey, and live with passion. “Too many people do things half-heartedly, even when it comes to the big stuff. They half-heartedly work on their marriage, their job or parenting. This is your life, why waste it? With everything you do, make sure you it is done with passionate excellence.” Passion is great, but don’t let important time with God, the family or friends suffer because you’re overly focused on the bigger picture.
Acknowledge the strength of others, and don’t think you know it all. Take a look at in Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Don’t play the secular game and not celebrate the team or individual success out of fear they might know more than you in certain areas. We can’t master everything, and that is why there is a team under you! Good leaders don’t control people they work to inspire them. Leaders know humility, and desire to follow Christ above all else. Choosing power over people and God will take a path that is more of the world. Pride is also dangerous, here. Paul said there is nothing as bad as pride. It is the source of touchiness, anger, irritation, bitterness, and unforgiveness. All stem from pride. God instructs us to teach, not to make everything a conquest.
Let God have control, and let Him direct you. This means projects, people, money, and allow Him to direct the path as He sees fit. It is not easy for a leader to do this. We need to take a step back and realize why we are here. Meaning, don’t leave Him out of the business or job. Teacher and author Joyce Meyer wrote on how trusting God can transform your life. And besides the help with decisions, trusting God helps your stress. “In John 15:5, Jesus says that apart from Him, we can do nothing," she wrote. "We need to lean on Him for help with everything in our lives. Sadly, a lot of people go to church, hear what they should do and then go home and try to do it on their own. They usually end up desperately telling God how hard they’re trying to do what they need to do, and they’re leaving Him out!”
Keep God first, and remain a blessing even if you’re hurting yourself. Mouw wrote to ask God for a clear vision and to keep priorities straight. “If we Christian leaders are not aflame with vision, we will not be able to lead others. So ask God to give you a specific call. If you are in the pastorate and you are not sure God has called you--or if you're serving in a parachurch organization and you are not sure God has called you--go off alone and fast and pray and ask God for your own personal vision, so that you will know what God wants you to do.” Additionally, look for people who can keep you straight and keep you in prayer.
If you want to move forward into leadership, look to study, and take management classes. Have a teachable spirit and learn from others. Many leaders today feel they don’t need a class in order to lead people. Passion, integrity, and the ability to inspire others, is innate in many of course, these attributes can’t be completely taught. However, classes can teach confidence, clarity, decision-making, and picking the right people for a team. Just like we can’t become a better Christian overnight, you can’t become an effective leader with one class. Take the steps now to build both as led by the Holy Spirit. Remember to be teachable, humble, and even laugh at yourself sometimes! Find Scriptures to help you grow and remain focused. Here is look at Romans 12: “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Serve God with your gifts and talents no matter what role it could be. Whether it is leading, or not.