I am a leader, you are a leader, everyone is a leader. The person standing six feet away from you is a leader.
Leadership is influence and all of us have influence as a business leader, church leader, mother, father, or grandparent. I have granddaughter twins and they are constantly trying to assert influence over each other!
Jesus said to his disciples:
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 20:25-26)
When Jesus says Gentiles think you!
Since we are all leaders, the easiest path is to assert influence. We do this either by being passive or aggressive. The passives do “leadership” without asking, no matter how or who they dishonor, and then if needed, apologize. The aggressives do “leadership” and do not care about apologies.
I am an expert leader, as I have mastered being both passive and aggressive! If something needs done, I want to get it done. Through the years, I’ve learned leading works best if I just set an example.
Those who follow my example are the ones that I want to lead.
The excruciating part of leading that we try to avoid (passives, aggressives, you, me), is the most important quality of leadership.
Leaders sacrifice first!
How many building programs in a church would have started if the pastor sacrificed financially first? Same with wars; with keeping or losing employees; with a conversation in marriage; or confronting someone about their inadequacies?
There is nothing more destructive than striving for leadership without sacrifice; to gain position without humility; to lead by “do as I say and not as I do.”
Jesus taught sacrifice as good leadership when he asked his disciples, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” To which they answered, “We are able.” (Matthew 20:22)
We know the rest of the story – they answered too enthusiastically!
Drinking the Cup Test!
- If you ask others to sacrifice, do you set the example?
- If you ask others to go, are you willing to go first?
- If you want to be a leader, do you get greater joy in releasing other leaders even if it means you don’t get the position or job?
- If you want others to forgive, have you forgiven yourself and others first? (This is the most difficult and costly of all.)
Forty-eight years ago, I had been a Christian for one month and about 30 new believers had accepted Jesus through my testimony. My intention was to leave Springfield and travel back to Florida.
A good friend said, “Grant, you can’t leave; what will all these people do without your leadership?”
This is how Fellowship began. I never sought to be Senior Pastor. I felt called! I’m leaving soon – not physically leaving – but moving from Senior Pastor to Founding Pastor. I will no longer be the organizational leader of Fellowship.
I hope that I have served well. I hope that I haven’t been too passive or aggressive. I’m confident that our church now has a bunch of “servant leaders” – and that is my legacy.