Born Again Leader

 

Scripture: (Revelation 1:6 TLB) He has gathered us into His kingdom and made us priests of God His Father. Give to Him everlasting glory! He rules forever! Amen!

 

You may know someone that has been called a born leader. Yet as we learn more about leadership and great leaders, we discover that leaders are not born that way, but develop their leadership abilities through faith, hard work and love. Today I want us to take a biblical look at what makes a great leader and learn how we can apply these principles to our own lives to assist us in gaining the victories that await us. In this discussion of leadership I have compiled the ideas of many great minds as well as the opinions of average people to discover what they think makes a good leader. I found out that everyone has an opinion on the subject and they vary greatly. If there were one common denominator of all of the expressed opinions it would be communications. A great leader can communicate the vision and faith that they have, to people of all walks of life.  One of the great leaders in our world today is General Colin Powell. I will be using some of his ideas mixed in a biblical perspective to give us a recipe for success, as we become born-again leaders.

            Looking at the scripture verse above it is clear that God has called us, or even better said is making each of us, into a leader. The priests of the Old Testament days were the doctors, the lawyers and the police chiefs of the community. They were the highest earthly authority. They were the leaders of the nation. God has now imparted into you His Spirit of leadership that you may make a difference in your family, community and the world. He has supplied you with all the tools you will need. He will strengthen you by His might and he will guide you with all wisdom. So with that knowledge lets begin by looking at the power of communications and how we can become better leaders by becoming better communicators.

            Jesus gave us many models of communication. He spoke to large crowds of people, He instructed His intimate group of disciples, He held one on one dialogue with people, but one of His best example of how we can improve our communication skills can be found in Matthew 19:13, Mark 10:14 and again in Luke 18:16. The phrase “ suffer the little children to come unto me” may be very familiar but listen to it from the book of Luke as paraphrased in The Living Bible. (Luke 18:16,17 TLB) “Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples, “let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”

            The first point that I would like to make about leadership is keeping your heart in the right place no matter how high up you get. General Colin Powell put it this way. “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” So it does not matter if we are talking about children or soldiers or employees or friends and neighbors or whoever, if you want to bring God the glory that He deserves, and be the leader that you can be, keep the doors of communication completely open. In what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave another great principle of communicating as a leader. At the end of the 7th Chapter of Matthew we read about the effect that Jesus’ communication skills had on the listeners.

 (Matthew 7:28 & 29 KJV) “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Now the scribes were the best teachers of the day, yet Jesus was not hung up on titles and position, He spoke with authority and inspiration. Listen to what Colin Powell has to say about titles and what demonstrates real power. “In well-run organizations, titles are also pretty meaningless. But titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire.” A great leader will be able to get people to do what they do not really want to do because they want to do it. Stay with me on this one. Lets look at a soccer coach. How much do you think that the players that are being coached want to practice? Yet they will come out night after night in the rain or heat no matter what and work hard at practice, (doing something that they do not really want to do) because they have faith in the vision of the coach to get them the victory. (Because they want to do it.) It is all about inspiration and determination. It comes down to knowing what you want and determining that you have what it takes to get it, and going after it. However you can be the best communicator in the world but without a clear vision of where you are headed you will not be able to lead anyone anywhere good.

I can not stress enough the importance of purpose. The clarity of your purpose brings credibility to your leadership and gives integrity to the organization. We read in the 9th chapter of Luke how Jesus had His face set for His ultimate purpose.   (Luke 9:51 KJV) “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,” Now again read it in the paraphrased version of The Living Bible. “As the time drew near for his return to heaven, he moved steadily onward towards Jerusalem with an iron will.” I like that thought of having an iron will. If you want to be the leader that God has called you to be then you need to develop some commitments and stick to them. I was looking at a book on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tonight and one of his quotes stuck with me. He said something so clear about wanting to be remembered as a man who lived a life of commitment. Sometimes we have so many agendas and get ourselves going in different directions that we have no idea of the purpose of our objective, let alone the objective at hand. Develop a clarity of purpose then set yourself to accomplishing it with an iron will determination and a life long commitment. No games, no doubt and no confusion. With and by faith you can lead the world into a new tomorrow. One of the biggest enemies of our leadership is our own minds. What was that saying? “We have found the enemy and it is us.” We need to eliminate the pessimism and fear and develop and strengthen our optimism and faith. Time and time again throughout both the Old Testament and the New we are instructed, encouraged and commanded to be strong and of good courage. We are told how the Just shall walk by faith. We are made aware of how so many people were healed because of their faith Remember the words of Jesus, “According to your faith so be it.” Once again listen to Gen. Colin Powell. “The ripple effect of a leader’s enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism… I am not talking about stoically accepting organizational stupidity and performance incompetence with a “what, me worry?” smile. I am talking about a gung-ho attitude that says, “we can change things here, we can achieve awesome goals, we can be the best.”

            Enthusiasm and optimism are paramount in not only you leading others but in your own happiness and personal fulfillment. It all comes down to faith. I am going to end this week’s message of leadership with a thought on faith. F = faithfulness. Being true to yourself, your God, your family and your friends. Faithfulness means a lot more then not cheating on your spouse it means caring enough to find areas that you can better serve. It means giving of yourself and being able to be counted on in times of need, any need. Faithfulness means that you believe in something bigger and stronger than you and you cling to it with all your might. A = Attitude. Developing and maintaining a positive and cooperative attitude will determine your ultimate success. You may have heard that image is everything but I’ll tell you what, behind every winning image is a winning attitude. Changing a negative attitude into appositive one is really as easy as noticing it and deciding to change it. Sure at first you might have to get a little mad at the bad attitude to get it out of the way but by replacing it with a positive and enthusiastic one makes the change a joy. I = Integrity. Rise to a new standard. Look, we have all made mistakes in the past. Put the past behind you and let it go. Forgive yourself and anyone else that might have failed you and now, right now, rise to a new level of integrity. Continue to believe in your core values and work to realize your full potential as a Child of God. T = thankfulness. Confidence in the future begins with thankfulness of the present. God is the God of the eternal now. Right now is eternity. I know that that can be somewhat a mystery but think about it. Right now you are determining your tomorrow. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You reap what you sow. Start being a little more thankful for what you’ve got and you will be better able to enjoy all the great things that you will receive. H = Help. Even Christ did not come to be served but to serve. Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and pouring over. FAITH: Faithfulness, Attitude, Integrity, Thankfulness and Help. What makes a good leader? Being like the greatest leader. Look to Him and become a born-again leader.