Every now and again, you run into some teaching that you can’t let go of. This was true for me a few months ago when I heard a message from Dr. John Maxwell. His topic was “A Leader Who Finishes Well.” I appreciated the message and loved the challenge I took away from it and so, I want to share with you a few of the things that I learned.
We are all in this journey together, learning and growing, and trying to stay in the game. I hope you enjoy Dr. Maxwell’s insights as much as I did.
A leader maintains a personal relationship with God.
Christ simplifies our relationship with Him by asking one single question, “Do you love me?” The powerful thing about this question is that a strong love for Him is going to reflect in our treatment, leadership, and service of others.
People are constantly seeking proof that they are loved. And, whether they vocalize it or not, they are asking this question when they walk into our churches and our ministries. It is important that we do honest evaluation and look at our ministries through their eyes.
A leader is passionate to learn.
Isn’t it interesting that the enemy of learning is knowing. Knowing only is stagnate, it doesn’t encourage growth and it often become irrelevant to an ever changing and moving set of needs. A good leader is going to continue to learn and to grow and in turn will increase the power of their outreach.
Remember what Goethe said, and apply it to your life. “Never let a day pass without looking at some perfect work of art, hearing some great piece of music and reading, in part, some great book.”
A leader leaves behind one or more ultimate contributions; a lasting legacy.
“What we leave behind tells how we got ahead.” John Maxwell
Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood wrote, “We have made at least a start in discovering the meaning in human life when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit.”
Is the work you are doing today going to continue tomorrow? We have to work against being short-sighted and managing only the problems in front of us. Instead, we need to invest in the things that will last, and the people that will be there to carry them on.
A leader never abuses power.
You have been given power for one reason: to serve others. Peter wrote these words in I Peter 5:1-3 “I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.”
Your calling has some weight because it will leave a meaningful and lasting impact. Invest your influence with the people that God has put in your path and follow His lead to please Him and to see His work in the lives of the people He has placed in your care.
A leader will know the cost of their pride.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
It is such a incredible time in history to be a leader; and the responsibility is as heavy as it is exciting. Remember, God has given you your calling. It does not matter what your position or your title is, you are called to be a leader.
Let us strive to serve one another and lift each other up to higher levels; loving God and pleasing Him by loving others!