The day after Christmas I found myself reflecting on some of my decisions I made during the year. Immediately, my thoughts went to the volunteer work I’ve committed myself to in my community. I thought about whether or not I was a good role model to the young lady I tutored in reading. Lastly, I thought about how often I tried to go out of my way to help my fellowman and I gave even more thought to the idea of how much I’ve encouraged family members during these difficult days of recession. I realize I’m a Godly leader however my talents are still a bit unrefined. The question God posed to me is thus: Do I measure up as Christian Leader? It is an extremely sobering question.
In our houses of worship we find an array of leaders with their own agendas. Some believe leadership is about personal gain, mostly financial. Some merely lust for promotions or titles so that their peers would publicly acknowledge them for some flesh inspired accomplishment. Some even aspire to leadership in order to dominate, manipulate and control a given body. In the end, this is not what Godly leadership was designed to accomplish. Leadership in the body of Christ is larger than any one person and not about making church officials feel good about being able to delegate duties. It’s about developing members of a body into the minister God has called them to be. Birthing new ministries offers the body more diversity and freshness that offers cutting edge teaching. It’s about being a humble, committed servant that carries a burden for souls and a willingness to invest in people. It’s about becoming a proselyte to another anointed child of God to assist in positioning them in a their place in the body. It’s about helping others realize their destiny as part of a team. Godly leaders should seek to willingly contribute significantly to the success of the people they lead.
I can’t think about leaders without mentioning Christ. He was and is the ultimate leader. He looked into the hearts of his disciples, assessed their weaknesses and strengths yet loved them in spite of. He loved Peter even though he denied Him and Judas who betrayed Him. Can today’s leaders endure this? Can leaders today love in spite of? When we look at contemporary Godly leaders do we see the same love and compassion from them for believers? Do we see people who are not afraid to seek out seasoned leaders who will pray with them and not gossip? Do we see leaders willing to offer gas money to a needy parishioner? Do we find these traits among our Godly leaders and if not why?
In the body of Christ we have a love deficit and this I believe is the reason our churches are relationship poor.
We have been romanced into a false sense of security by not taking an active role in our churches. We seem to be lulled to sleep by the idea that “someone else with get to that” or “someone else will volunteer“. The mere fact that this thought crosses our mind means God is calling us to action! God is not happy when we leave our spiritual success in the hands of lax leaders who routinely give milk not meat sermons. They are in effect patting us on the head and sending us home to battle issues such as divorce, depression, financial shortfalls and joblessness on our own. Real leaders are not just in the pulpits. They are everyday people who act as agents of change while living among the ranks of believers. They offer hope and encouragement. These are the people who don’t get recognized yet feel fulfilled in their call. These are the 2AM prayer warriors, the middle of the day intercessors, the ones who embark on fasts and intercede when no one is there are no accolades from the populace. They are unseen giants in the faith who daily bring integrity and respectability to the ministry.
I’ve discerned that we’re all leaders in the body of Christ with a mandate from the Lord to reconcile the lost back to Him. We are all leaders endowed with a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19). Our high priest Jesus didn’t brow beat us because we’ve sinned. He offered us healing and restoration. Real leaders offer us the chance to transform in order to blossom into what God has called us to be. Real leaders give us the tools, knowledge and skills we need to advance beyond them. Jesus Himself confirmed this by telling us we’ll do “greater works” (John 14:12). Until leaders humble themselves and make their primary objective that of helping those they lead to surpass them, we will not see manifested miracles. In order for leaders to embrace this level of Christs’ teaching they would have to not only be fully submitted and committed but they would have to know how to genuinely love people. Every believer needs to be developed and cultivated for kingdom work. God is not a God that makes people for naught. We were all created for some significant purpose. We were created to share His eternal love with mankind.
We should never measure our own personal success by promotions men may impute to us over a lifetime. Success is measured by how often we’ve shared the gospel.
We should weigh our accomplishments by how many times we’ve been transparent enough to share our personal testimony of deliverance. When the body of Christ realizes the only leader we have is Christ Jesus, I believe it will recover from its’ current state of ineffectiveness.
The strength of any ministry lies within the character of the leaders at the helm. We’re all leaders. It is not because of titles in our churches or how much money we give in support of missions. Nor is successful leadership defined by our massive social networks coupled with popularity.
Leadership should reflect the heart of the Father in the flesh!
We’re leaders in the eyes of the Lord when we feel a true burden to facilitate positive change in the lives of others. We’re leaders when we love people in an unconditional way. We’re leaders when we love God so much we’re fully committed to Him in all areas of our lives. We’re leaders when we share faith and hope in the midst of calamitous events. We’re leaders when we love another soul enough to tell them salvation saves them from eternal damnation. We’re honorable leaders when we take the spotlight off anything grand we think we’ve done and point people to Jesus. We’re leaders because our faith in God has empowered us to be victorious in every thing we attempt (Romans 8:37).
In this upcoming dispensation, let us all strive to be Godly leaders. Let us allow God to develop us into loyal, dependable men and women of faith who embrace order and accountability. Let us harness within a desperate, pressing need for people who know serving God has rewards but also illuminates personal convictions for those who take it seriously. Let us lead by living holy, loving without limits and serving faithfully. Let us lead by not allowing the fire of the Holy Ghost to abate in us. Let us lead by telling others the body can’t afford to fall into a spirit of compromise. Let us not offer a litany of excuses for a poor Christian or compromised lifestyle. Let us endeavor to ask ourselves this question daily: Do I Measure Up?
Dr. Denise J. Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her articles have been featured in CALLED and WOW magazine. Her first effort, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in March 2009. She can be contacted through ministry website Broken Vessel Outreach Ministries. In addition, her current effort entitled “The Chambers Of The Heart” is expected to be released later this year.