I believe bonafide leaders are those men and women who are willing to stand in the gap and risk change. They are not afraid of the unknown and have an appetite for mixing things up so something better can emerge. These leaders may be moms, dads, government leaders, school teachers, principals, pastors, and mentors.
Leaders know how to build relationships and maintain them. Links are the catalyst for successful change and growth within a family, organization, or church. Ask a successful leader who has been leading for decades and see if they mention relationships.
I have been leading in different levels of ministry now for seven years. The one thing that has stuck out the most for me is the desire we have for connection with one another. I have found the most success in seeing a transformation in me and others when there are stronger connections.
Building a relationship to produce change spiritually in any setting is no easy feat and takes loads of time and patience. If you truly love those you lead, you will be willing to put in the work. Ultimately, as a Godly leader, we need to see everyone as a precious creation made in the image of God.
I found myself in the suction of leadership during my 3rd year in full-time ministry. It seemed everyone wanted my time. I was always fighting with myself about how and when to commit to things. The problem was that I enjoyed the company of everyone that wanted my time.
Do you ever feel like you are on the schedule of everyone else but yourself?
I have realized since the timid youth pastor days that it is ultimately my right to say no and decide what gets my time. I fulfill God’s purpose in His kingdom much more efficiently when I say no.
Think about it.
We have a mission given by God to make Him known here on earth. How can we do that if we are so busy following and not leading? How is it possible to focus on the mission if we are always on everyone else’s time table? We are not playing ping-pong, after all.
I want to introduce you to a bonafide leader, Nehemiah, in 445 B.C. Nehemiah defied the odds and found himself at the right hand of King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah was an energetic leader who had the right relationships in place.
Nehemiah 1:4-11: 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
God strategically placed Nehemiah, where he was for a bigger purpose than Nehemiah could have ever imagined.
In looking at the life and faith of Nehemiah, I find myself at a crossroads. How can I have faith like Nehemiah? How can I love people I don’t even know as passionate and intensely as Nehemiah?
We all know that God’s Word is alive and can be applied today wherever we may be in life. Here is the answer:
The mystery of obedience and feelings is that most of the time, obedience comes before passion. How easy would it be to be obedient if we always felt on fire to do what is right and holy?
We know for sure as we read Nehemiah chapter one that prayer is the lifeline to Holy God.
Nehemiah 1:4: 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
No matter who is against you, pray.
No matter the burdens of this life, pray.
No matter the passion, pray.
No matter the non-existent emotions, pray.
No matter the answer, pray.
Keep. Praying. Every. Single. Day.
God has put you where you are right now, reading this blog for a particular reason. Ask Him what it is.