Leadership comes with many challenges for sure but it also brings many rewards. True leadership has never been about managing programs or overseeing organizations. At it’s heart, leadership is about loving people and helping them realize their full God given potential. Because the nature of true leadership revolves around people it is, at times, a messy business. I am perpetually reminded that Jesus wasn’t intimidated by my messy life but waded into it with His grace and love to not only save me, but to also create something in me and out of me that would bring glory and honor back to Him. It inspires me to do no less with others. In Matthew 5 we have an introduction to the greatest sermon ever shared, the sermon on the mount. We have come to know the first 10 verses as the Beatitudes or as they have been accurately described “the attitudes that ought to be.” They are not about what you HAVE but rather all about what you ARE. So if you will excuse my grammar here they are not primarily about what others may see as much as they are about what you truly “BE.” When it comes to leading others I think there are some important “BE-atitudes” that leaders should reflect that help us make deep impacts in those we serve and allow them to flourish and grow under our care. Things that create an environment for them to become all that God wants them to be. Here are 5 that I think are pivotal.
1. BE CONSISTENT-
Nothing frustrates people more than leaders who are indecisive and can never make up their minds. When a leader is consistent with his or her convictions and dependable with timely decisions it provides a tremendous amount of security to those who are following. For right or wrong, people want to know where their leaders stand. Flighty and floundering leaders do not lead people very long if ever. Determine your core values, settle what is important and stay true to what God says to you.
2. BE CLEAR-
People can not execute or produce something that they do not know you want or expect. Write down your expectations and clarify what you desire to see. I have discovered that peoples creativity and ability will amaze you if we just give them a clear picture of what is expected. There is no way to properly INSPECT what people don’t know you EXPECT.
3. BE COURTEOUS-
Everyone deserves to be shown respect regardless of what kind of history you may have had with them. By being respectful, loving and professional you demonstrate the kind of spirit and Christlikeness that causes others to recognize why you are truly fit to lead. Leadership can get emotional but do not allow your emotions to master you, true leaders master their emotions.
4. BE INCLUSIVE-
Look for and create opportunities to include new and different people into ministry and fellowship. One of the reasons church has gotten such a bad image over time is because of its exclusivity. People are attracted to leaders and churches who create environments where everyone feels loved and accepted. While there are many things CCA needs to improve on as we build the kingdom, this is one thing we do very well. Our fellowship is comprised of interesting and incredibly diverse people with all sorts of stories and backgrounds and yet the love and authentic care that is present for one another is truly something that is born of God’s Spirit. I am inspired by it and will strive to cultivate it even more.
5. BE CONCERNED AND CARING-
People can tell when you are truly concerned about them or only what they can do for you. I was recently in Israel and observed shepherds and sheep in the desert. Shepherding is a long, hot and unglamorous business but I discovered that for those shepherds there isn’t anything in the world that they would rather be doing. I feel the same way. When God puts people in your heart, you don’t see sacrifice through the same lenses. Somehow the inconvenience isn’t quite as heavy as it used to be and the long hot days of service aren’t quite the burden they were before. You find your joy in the lives that are changed and the stories that have been rewritten for His glory. If you have lost that, pray for a revival of passion for people, God will answer.