Be a good leader

I was invited to speak at our church’s annual coordinator meeting. I was the first speaker of a “Ted Talk style” meeting. I spoke on the topic of leadership. What a privilege!

How to be a good leader

How do good leaders become good leaders anyway? I think it starts with an adjustment to the way we think which bleeds over into the way we do things and how we live our lives.

Good leaders become good leaders when they:

  • Continue to learn throughout their whole lives.
  • Never really get to a place where they think they have arrived.
  • Keep their eyes on Jesus
  • They keep growing through all that they go through.

Did you hear that last one? They grow through what they go through!

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When I look at this verse I see a plan of action that works. If we fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author of our story and follow His example especially since Jesus was the greatest leader. We too can enjoy the journey, endure through every trial, not quit when others give up, reject us or accuse us, and make it to our ultimate destination.

3 ways to grow through what you go through in leadership:

1. Leadership requires you to look back.
If we never look back we can not see how our past has influenced us. Jesus has been writing our story our whole lives and He will complete it. 8 or 9 years ago one of my leaders walked me through a timeline workbook that dove into my past. Through that process, the truth that Jesus is the author of my life became real to me. By looking back, I could see His hand in my life. Everything from my mom leaving the abortion clinic because she just couldn’t go through with it to the way my Grammy taught me to navigate maps when we took family trips. I could see how God was writing every piece of my life. I began to see how He had deposited the most beautiful marks on my heart through even the very worse of times. I was being made into who I would become.

  • You have to look back to see forward!
  • Looking back can give you the tools to stop the enemy from using your past against you.
  • Looking back can allow you to see the journey that when you were in the middle of living it, you could not see. Hindsight really can be 20/20.

2. Leadership requires you to look ahead.
We have to have vision. Without vision, people perish. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

  • Looking ahead means looking to Jesus. He is the finisher of our faith. He is the one who has a plan for you. Make sure that you are looking to Him and asking Him for the plan for your life and ministry that you lead, or the group you care for. We have to hear from God and write down the plan that he has.
  • John Maxwell says “too many people put a high price on enthusiasm and too low of a price on discipline and a plan.” You can be gung-ho for Jesus but if you are not being discipled by Jesus and asking Him for how to do that with others. You will miss what He is doing.
  • Looking ahead means looking out for others. It is not all about you. If you are not actively caring for the people in your care, no amount of i’s dotted and t’s crossed will help you. It does not say, “without vision tasks will not get done.” It says, “without vision people perish.” We miss people moments and God opportunities to draw them closer to the heart of our Father when we are not looking ahead. I didn’t do well in this area for the first few years I was leading in ministry. I missed many opportunities.
  • Looking ahead means looking out for you. Make sure you are taking care of your health, your soul, your body. That you getting enough rest or enough exercise. Drinking enough water. Your body will not take care of itself you have to take care of you. Are you caring for your own spiritual needs? Stop running on empty. An empty cup can not pour water into another empty cup. You are leaders and caregivers over people. Take care of you so that you can actually care for them. Take care of your growth needs. In order to do that you cannot be a person who thinks that have it all together and know it all. How do you stay out of that trap? John Maxwell says, “stay humble, be secure in yourself to say you don’t know when you don’t know, be willing to change, be a good listener, have a growth mindset.”

3. Leadership requires you to be intentional with now.
Faith without Action is dead but Faith plus Action is evidence that we are indeed Alive in Christ. Too many of us drift and squander our time and end up “playing catch up all the time” because outside pressure forces us to react to the environment we are in. We have to have a growth mindset and know that growth equals change. Everything changes. We are not called to maintain. We are called to grow. That has to be done on purpose and with intention.

  • Being intentional means to get clarity. Know why you do what you do. Then share that with your team. There is no greater demotivator than to do things that you do not even know why you are doing them. What’s the point!? Get real clear about it.
  • Being intentional means to get brave. It’s time to step out on faith and participate in what God has been doing in your life. Do the hard work of working with God – facing fears, speaking up, standing ground to be what He has called you to be. If we don’t then we drift and drifting always leads downhill.
  • Being intentional means to get moving. Put action steps in place to the vision God has given. Don’t just talk about it. Walk it out. Write the plan down that God gives and work it out.

WHY DO WE WANT TO DO THIS?

WHY DO WE WANT TO LEARN HOW TO GROW THROUGH WHAT WE GO THROUGH: Jesus knew where He came from, where He was going and was intentional in what He did – every moment & So should we!

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

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