Each of us is a leader. Have we thought about why? Why us? When did those leadership traits in our lives begin to emerge?
Leadership is a role – a gift – divinely given by God. This doesn’t mean that only Christians are talented leaders, or that Christians blessed with leadership should only lead within a church or ministry setting, or that leaders so blessed don’t make mistakes. What it does mean is that God has blessed some of His people specifically with leadership gifts, and we are called to use those gifts to inspire and build up the people within our sphere of influence. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, encourages us to “take the responsibility [of leadership] seriously” which, I think we could all agree, some people in leadership roles do not do. Because it’s a gift from God, we should seek His help to be the best leaders we can be – not perfect, not flawless, but willing to learn and be taught along the way.
Another important principle here is that God gives every person unique gifts, talents, interests and strengths. As leaders, it is important that each of us take time to cultivate those traits in others, and encourage them to own their own development. We must also learn to rely on others to play their parts and to take on responsibilities for which we are less (or not) gifted. This is why Paul uses the human body as an analogy for the Church (the Body of Christ) – each part of the body has it’s function, and the body would not function effectively if every part did the same thing. Clearly this is true on our teams too, so always look for ways to add & cultivate new skills to your teams, while growing & stretching those already evident. Many people, Christian or otherwise, fail to recognize their talents, or even downplay or suppress them out of fear, so be ever mindful of the role you may play in helping others fulfill their potential!
“Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.” (1 Corinthians 12:28 NLT)
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
Questions for reflection:
Do you consider yourself a leader in all aspects of your life? If so, how are you caring for your growth outside of the office? If not, why not?
Does the idea that God may have called you into leadership change how you view yourself and your leadership role(s)?