By Andrew Jewell
Leadership is a funny thing, and in particular Christian leadership. It has the potential to take us to great heights of encouragement and at the same time send us tumbling head over heels like a tumbleweed through the streets of Jerusalem.
It can be isolating or invigorating, pulling us to do our best for those whom we serve whilst simultaneously causing us to question where and who we are ourselves in the overall scheme of things.
lead our people from the wilderness
In this part #4 of the Spiritual Warfare series I wanted to look at how as leaders we can ensure we stay strong against the tide of ever present spiritual opposition. As leaders we often find ourselves walking against the wind, we challenge the tide of everyday expectation and seek to lead our people from the wilderness. Below are five things to bear in mind as we embrace what only we, each to our own particular path has been called to do;
It seems like a statement of the obvious but it is just as easy for Christian leaders to neglect their own Spiritual growth and protection as it is for anyone else. We are after all focused on the well-being of others and we can easily forget that we have a part to play, a responsibility to ourselves also. We cannot point the way to truth and redemption if we have forgotten how to get their ourselves.
To attempt to lead without prayer is like attempting to drive a car without a steering wheel.
In an earlier post I talked about prayer being one of our primary weapons and in leadership it is vital. To attempt to lead without prayer is like attempting to drive a car without a steering wheel. Generally not a good idea, extremely difficult and usually resulting in disaster. We need to not only know that we are right with God first but moreover that we are hearing Him correctly.
Likewise being faithful in the Word serves the same purpose. In the professional world we must continually learn, grow, train and retrain and in our leadership walk this is essential. If we are to do it for God then we should be doing it better than if we did it for a company – so know your stuff and ensure that you stay strong in your Christian identity. Read your bible daily, meditate, learn from other great Christian influencers and constantly challenge yourself to find new ways to engage, commune with and become closer to God. When you’re strong your flock is strong and those around you see a bright beacon that points to the Father.
Leadership is hard, whether that be as parent, a business person or a Minister. One of the things that makes that walk a little easier is by putting the right people around us. We see politicians place cabinets around them, CEO’s have their boards and many in ministry have their councils and committees. But the Christian in leadership also needs those around him or her that support their Spiritual and emotional walk.
Saying we need the right people around us is one thing, being able to find and or place them may be a different challenge altogether. Jesus had His 12, likewise we need a pool of people with different gifts that bring different elements to our lives and are supportive.
choose carefully and moreover choose prayerfully.
Naturally in the first instance this may be your spouse, trusted friends or family. But beyond this think about the Spiritual gifts that you need to help you stay on track. It may be Prayer Warriors, Prophets, Teachers or Evangelists. It may be a collection of mentor’s that are upstanding in their chosen fields, or it may be that one special person that we would trust with our life and Spiritual well-being – choose carefully and moreover choose prayerfully.
Often we may feel our defences are secure. We pray and seek God regularly, go to church regularly and feel we’re in a pretty good place with God. That can all go out the window fairly quickly if our health takes a turn for the worst. I spoke in part one about how subtleties are the things that bring us undone the most, Satan’s most effective weapon being simple distraction to what’s really going on.
It is very easy to fall victim to that distraction when we are unwell, been pushing too hard, eating badly or neglecting sleep. Anyone that has had a bad case of the flu knows that its hard to stay positive, keep focus and maintain Spiritual well-being when we feel like we’ve been run over by a traction engine.
The best offence is a good defence and part of forming a good defence is knowing our limits and knowing what we need to maintain positive mental and physical health. In support of your own well-being strive for good quality sleep and a balanced diet to maintain optimal performance. Listen to your body and your mind and if you need to rest, rest.
Part of our emotional needs is also about maintaining balance, we need time for ourselves for growth and to recharge, time for whimsy, time for family and relationships and time for God. Even though we may be busy we can still find time to do what feeds us and those to whom we have an immediate connection and responsibility. Just as when someone jumps off a see-saw and we hit the ground with a thump, likewise its going to hurt one way or another if we forget to build in balance. Don’t give the Devil a foothold.
Make no mistake, true Godly leadership can be a lonely road. There will be things that only you can understand and revelations that are meant for you only. Moreover there will be times when we feel He has left us, when He seems to have taken His hand off us momentarily in order for us to learn, and it’s tough!
Be prepared to walk alone sometimes because no matter how many people we may have around us we all need to spend our own time in the wilderness, just as Jesus did. On the other side of that journey waits a deeper relationship, phenomenal growth and reward that only God can provide in the most meaningful ways.
As human beings we are raised to be pain adverse, to see anything that is uncomfortable or painful as bad. While this may seem to be truth in the immediate term, the long term is often God’s greatest concern. We are never broken unless He has a plan on how to put us back together again. The hard part is being patient through the breaking and rebuilding process, have Faith.
Faith then is the key, the key that unlocks our unprecedented destiny. Only YOU can accomplish what He has predestined you to do in Jesus Christ. Only you can touch that person with the Grace of God where others have failed, only you can lead your flock from the darkness with the torch of Christ and only you can stand as the example God intended you to be, seated at His right hand with your brother and Saviour.
Hold fast in what you have been taught, what you believe and in where He is leading you. Trust His Word, trust His voice and trust your own ability to listen. It is then that we are walking against the wind with great success! A testament to other believers of what God can do in you.
© Andrew Jewell 2017 – wedgetailministries.com