He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
I was a reluctant leader.
I had no intention of starting a ministry or church in March 0f 1972. The 50th anniversary of my ministry (and Fellowship Church) was the second weekend of March this year.
I saw a need 50 years ago, and obeying became my calling. No planning, no placement evaluations, and no hiring process – young people were coming to know Jesus and needed discipling.
In my 50 years of ministry, I’ve noticed, for lack of a better image, a ladder of maturity in my leadership. It’s not climbing the proverbial “corporate ladder” – as that requires planning or conniving according to your motives.
There are growth rungs (or steps) that God’s faithfulness has brought me through. Each completed rung has resulted in more influence for God, not self. Often, I climbed up a rung through an unannounced blessing or unexpected trial.
There are seven rungs (or lessons learned) on my leadership ladder:
- Faith (Founding a ministry with no resources.)
- Grace (Must be God, not self-expressed through works.)
- Joy (Without it, both trials and blessings are polluted by pride.)
- God’s glory (The key to forgiveness.)
- Serving (I wish I would have learned this first!)
- Power (Not worldly, but through intercession.)
- Patience (I don’t have to succeed, just try.)
That’s my ladder.
Please note that I’m still in a learning process with all the rungs.
Faith, grace, joy, God’s glory, serving, power, and patience are not spiritual certificates of completion hung on your wall. They are rungs on the ladder, each becoming solid enough to climb higher, but can also rot through neglect, causing the tumbling of lifetime achievements.
Ask the Lord to reveal your lifelong lessons.
I’m certain He will reveal the rungs in your life, ministry, and leadership. Identifying the rungs, ones you have climbed as well as the ones still to be climbed, will help focus your efforts, your team, and your prayers.
In each of the seven rungs on my Ladder of Leadership, I experienced two amazing attributes of God:
- Grace: A blessing given to me that I didn’t deserve.
- Mercy: A holding back of something that I did deserve.
Always remember this “ladder-climbing” advice from the Apostle Paul:
I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you [and me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).