the word leader, images of a person in a formal position of authority might come
to mind. It’s easy to think of a government official or an executive in a
company as a leader. The truth is we’re all either current leaders, or we have
the capacity to lead in some area of our lives.Leading others in a
positive, productive direction is a huge responsibility, but don’t let that
tools in your life to help you lead effectively. That’s the good news. It
becomes more challenging as a leader when you’re attempting to be impactful
while managing the obstacles that will inevitably come your way.
Conflicting personalities, financial struggles and uncommitted
team members are some examples of difficulties you’ll need to overcome. However,
Christian leaders have an additional burden to bear — to lead with love and
compassion in a way that makes their followers want to continue following them.
Keep these five strategies in mind and let them be gentle reminders about godly
leadership when things get tough:1. Let Integrity Be Your
Leaders need to have integrity. That idea should come as no
surprise to anyone.
Sometimes it’s easier or more convenient to make
choices or take actions in private that you may not have if they were made
public. Upstanding leaders must guard against such behavior. Make it a point to
stand behind your actions and to be proud of what you do. Mark 4:22 says, “for
whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant
to be brought out into the open.” Lead as if your private actions could be
exposed to everyone at any time.
By consistently holding yourself to a
high moral standard, you are practicing leading and living with
2. Be a Teacher
One of the best motivations for
being a good leader, especially when under duress, is to know others are
watching you. Model the good behavior you want others to demonstrate. Take care
to monitor your speech and control your temperament.
Another thing to
consider is tapping into reliable resources to help you direct those following
you. A methodology, such as Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship, developed by
people who specialize in training and leadership development may be a good
foundation for teaching Godly concepts to others.
3. Also Be a
As a leader, you’ll teach others and help them reach their
potential, but it’s also important to never stop learning yourself. Christians
spend time in God’s word to understand what He would have us do and be. Learning
how to be a good leader is no different. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the apostle Paul
wrote that we should “study to show thyself approved unto God.” We must be
diligent in being of service to God and understanding His word. The book of
Proverbs has several scriptures to guide leaders.
To be a good student,
take initiative to try new things. Leading with humility means acknowledging you
don’t know everything, but you are willing to learn, try something new or do
something differently than you have in the past. It doesn’t mean you have to go
skydiving to prove you’re open to new experiences. The people you lead will take
notice if you try to improve and grow by being ready to learn.
Remember Patience Is a Virtue
With increasing pressure to do more and do
it better, faster and with fewer resources, leaders are concerned with producing
results. The results you seek may not come at the pace or at the level of
quality you hope for, but trust that diligence and wise decisions will
ultimately get you where you want to be. Continue to show gratitude to the
people who are a part of your team and are working to help you reach your goal.
Growing impatient with people or processes is not likely to help your cause.
There are ways to practice patience as it may not be an intuitive response to
Conflict is another area in our lives that tests patience.
Know that if you are working with other people for long enough, disagreements
will occur. When issues arise, confront them head on. But do it with love and a
spirit of patience. Managing conflict in a constructive way helps team members
get to a resolution while still maintaining respect for one
5. Surround Yourself With a Strong Team
are smart, but wise leaders understand the importance of surrounding themselves
with honest, trustworthy mentors. Proverbs 15:22 states that “without counsel
plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
When you make plans for
yourself or the people you are leading, you’ll naturally be biased toward the
direction you want to go in. Sharing your plans and ideas with people who are
discerning, objective and believe God’s word can be a great asset. Your circle
of mentors may shed light on your situation by bringing forth ideas or
perspectives you hadn’t considered. Their input may also help affirm that you
are on the right path.
These steps aren’t hard, and they shouldn’t be.
God wants us to be successful in all our efforts.
While you may be in a
leadership position, remember that you are really a servant, serving the Lord
first and foremost. Pray and allow God to direct your path because He is
ultimately in control.
[written by Sarah Landrum]