Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Encouragment for Leaders

Dear Leader,

Your leadership matters.  It is listed in the scriptures as a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8) and there are books in the Bible dedicated to what happens when God empowered leadership is embraced (Ezra, Nehemiah, Judges, Esther).  If God has called you or placed you in a place of leadership, He has done so for the purpose of you making a difference.

As a leader you are going to have to make hard decisions; ones that will cause you to be unpopular and misunderstood.  You are going to have to make hard decisions…ones that will cause you to be unpopular and misunderstood. Remember, the Bible says that fear of man is a snare (Proverbs 29:25).

If your main goal is to be popular, understood, and loved by everyone then “you are not a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).  Many people see the problems in the church but very few have the courage to do something about them.  If you are a leader that is what God has called you to do, and you've got to be willing to take the heat.

God has not called you to do this alone however.  One of the most amazing things about leadership is that the Lord will surround you with people who will come along side you and help you lead.  Listen to other people.  Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” 

Please understand, just because you are the leader doesn’t mean that you are the smartest person in the room!  Ask for help often.  It doesn’t make you weak to ask, it actually communicates that you are a secure and confident leader.

There is safety in surrounding yourself with others.  If you make unilateral decisions by yourself too often you are hanging yourself out on a limb, because when you make a wrong decision (and you will) you are on your own.  Proverbs 11:14 says, “ Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” 

You are going to get hurt in your leadership role too.  People who you thought really cared about you will turn on you, attack you, and make false accusations against you.  All because you had to make decisions that they didn’t agree with.  When these attacks come, it will cause feelings of insecurity and pain.  But don’t allow a few people, who pull a Judas on you, to cause you to believe that everyone around you will betray you.  They won’t.  God has already sent you people who will be with you always.  The only reason leadership ever gets lonely is because leaders isolate themselves.

Don’t feel the need to spend your time responding to every critic.  It’s a waste of time.  Life is too short and hell is too hot for you to have conversations with people who have a history of faultfinding.  Nehemiah refused to come down off the wall he was building to meet with his critic Sanballat.  If he had done so, the work of God would have ceased (Nehemiah 6:1-4).  Stop obsessing over what these people say.

Pay the price and grow as a leader.  Develop your leadership gift by leading something.  And remember, “He who has called you will finish what He began in you” (Philippians 1:6).

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