I recently returned from Mumbai after the inaugural celebration service of Ambernath Revival Center. There are many times when being a leader has weighed down on me. And this was one of those times when I felt heavy and burdened by the fact that I am a leader, in-spite of the fact that God was being glorified, and I knew that I was in the center of God’s will and purpose for my life.
That led me to a time of introspection, and in the same context God began to teach me a few things that are essential to be practiced as a leader. That is what distinguishes a leader from the rest of the flock. And I believe that everyone is called to be a leader, probably in various different aspects and ways, but we are called to lead and to dominate over circumstances.
So, if you are still not a leader in your sphere of life, or you’re already a leader and you’re aiming for excellence, here are few things you should begin to exercise in your relationship with God and the people around you.
1. Leaders believe & obey!
That is the primary quality of being a leader. He/She would believe every word God speaks over their lives and go ahead and obey it. That’s what distinguished Noah, Abraham, Moses and most of the other Old Testament saints from the rest. They did not merely hear God, they believed his voice!
I remember how difficult it was to believe and to obey when God called me to Bangalore, when God asked us to plant BRC and ARC, when God put the Revive Nations Ablaze conferences in our hearts. But I have seen the fruit of such risky obedience to the Lord to be always better than the comfort zones of my heart.
Most folks do not obey, because they do not believe the promises of God. They talk like they do believe, they pray like they do believe, but they haven’t actually believed it till they obey it and begin to walk in it.
2. Leaders do not murmur!
This was my greatest temptation on this last trip to Mumbai. I had opted for a sleeper coach in the train, and the heat & stress during the journey was a little too strong and my patience got tested. And throughout the journey and in my conversation with people even after reaching there, I caught myself murmuring about my circumstances.
I was so grieved with my attitude, that I began to thank the Lord for the privilege he has given me to serve him in any capacity, and all of a sudden the atmosphere around me just changed! The return journey was smoother than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
Again, that’s one thing that distinguished Moses, Joshua and Caleb from the rest of the Israelites in the wilderness. They did not murmur when things went crazy around them. I don’t know what is the craziness that is causing you to murmur or remain dissatisfied in life, there is only one solution to it – begin to thank God in adverse circumstances, praise him, worship his presence.
When you worship God, your circumstances might not always immediately change for the good like it did for me, but that shouldn’t stop you from worshiping God all the more. That’s the trait of a tenacious leader!
3. Leaders walk the extra mile!
Moses got his direction and guiding every time he climbed the mountain to be with the Lord for long duration of forty days at a time. There were so many things he would have had to sacrifice to be able to do that. The same with the apostles in the New Testament, most of them had to leave their homes, their existing businesses and professions to be able to pursue God’s call in their lives.
Being a leader is never easy. It involves sacrifices from your end. You would have to determine what are the things, who are those people, which are those places, that stand as hindrances to your growth as a leader. Once you identify them, you should disconnect with them, accepting all associated risks.
You can never lead with extra baggage. Your call to leadership itself will be a great responsibility, and hence it is very essential to give up on the extra baggage. They also include sinful or non God glorifying habits and lifestyles. You cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. Seek His strength and His wisdom for the same.
4. Leaders trust & delegate!
The greatest challenge to most leaders, including me today is the lack of willingness or motivation to raise up other leaders under themselves. Leaders should never be afraid of trusting and delegating responsibilities. It is not to say that you would always find them loyal and obedient to you, but you should still trust them.
Moses sent out 12 spies to the Canaan, and 10 of them came with a negative and ungodly response. Jesus entrusted Judas as the treasurer of his team and that man turned out to be the one to steal, trade and betray for money. That never is cause of Jesus’ lack of leadership skills.
It is indeed an honorable quality to trust and to delegate work to people under you. That is how you will be able to train them into leadership positions. Occasionally, you would always find a Judas every now and then, without exceptions, but that should never stop you from raising leaders.
5. Leaders learn to Balance!
This is an area of my personal life, that I always tend to go wrong on. I have leadership responsibilities in church, but at the same time, I am a husband to Rashmi, a father to Zahal. I have friends that I love and who love me. Occasionally, my passion and commitment of time for ministry pushes me to a place, where I do not have any time or space for family and friends. That’s every leader’s nightmare come true. Though I know, some leaders actually aspire for that.
Bringing a fine balance, and consistently living in that balance will be the key to longevity of your leadership. Even before your family, comes your personal time with God. This is also where your dreams and visions get fueled. But that is not the sole purpose of it. You spend time with the Lord because you love Him. The same applies to your family and friends. They will support you and submit to your leadership, but that is not the sole purpose for spending time with them, it should be out of love.
A leader that lacks love and commitment in private life, can rarely genuinely lead in the public forefront. Hence my greatest advice to a person pursuing to be a leader is to keep the direction and the goals of your heart balanced at all times. What goes about in your heart is what gets consequently manifested in your life.
What part of this post made the greatest sense to your heart? Are there other areas that you have had to work on to develop your character as a leader? We always enjoy hearing from you! Kindly use the comments below.