John Maxwell loves to say: “if you are leading and no one is following, you are only taking a walk”. The first component of LEAD is Leadership. I grew up in a church where leadership wasn’t taught, explained, modeled, mentored, preached, or practiced much. It got a little better in my formal education, but most of the leadership concepts I learned came about in two ways:
1. Personal interest in the subject.
2. Personal mistakes that taught me leadership lessons.
I remember arriving at my first church (some might identify with what I am about to share), and having my first board meeting. I was coming in with all these plans, dreams, and was absolutely sure who the leader was. Me! After all, I was the pastor! That lasted about 30 minutes. My plans and ideas went out the window faster than you can say “I’m in charge”. I remember feeling very discouraged. I survived, but noticed immediately my very present need to grow in the area of leadership. It took me a while to understand that I am none of these three things:
*I am not the man. In other words, I can’t make ministry be about me, because it isn’t.
*I am nor the Messiah. I am not indispensable. There is only one Messiah and his name is not Roger.
*I am not the manager. I am not called to just maintain the status quo, to just run programs and keep everyone happy. I was called to lead, not manage.
Here are some leadership concepts that have been beneficial to me. They are keys to successful leadership:
1. Relationships. People follow leader, then the vision. You first connect, then convince.
2. Innovation. The enemy of future success is past success. Just because it worked in the past, does not mean it will work the same way in the future.
3. Connections. I decided to have three people in my life. A teacher I can learn from. A companion I can share with. A student I can teach. Those were my choices. God brought me a 4th person- An antagonist that will keep me on my knees. (There is one of those everywhere!)
4. Purpose. It’s easy to confuse activity with progress. What we do, when we do it, and who we do it with, has to fit in the overall purpose that God has for our lives. The clearer the purpose, the easier it is to say no and yes to invitations, requests, and demands for our time.
So, leader, would you lead please?
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