This leadership series has been good therapy for me. It has been awhile since I have had the chance to lead a body of believers, over ten years now. During that hiatus, God has been developing me as a leader. This leadership series is a by-product of what God is teaching me. Today we dive deeper into the heart of leadership. You can have the tools to lead. You may be blessed with the instincts to lead, but I am a big believer in character. Too many leaders have had a great ministry legacy destroyed by finishing poorly. One moral failure will erase an entire lifetime of kingdom accomplishments. Our attention then turns to two essential safeguards for all leaders spiritual and secular.
These come from Myron Rush’s book. “The New Leader.”
You must become master of your emotions.
“Fools show all their anger, but the wise hold it back.” -Proverbs 29:11
Some say of me I wear my emotions on my sleeve. While I try to be transparent, I am cautious not take people around me on an emotional rollercoaster too often. No one wants to take that ride with you. Your people usually care about you, tend to respect you and generally want to support you, but have little desire to journey into your emotional craziness. Leaders can be candid without becoming reactionary messes. I love this quote about Jesus and how he dealt with emotions.
“I am spellbound by the intensity of Jesus’ emotions: Not a twinge of pity, but heartbroken compassion; not a passing irritation, but terrifying anger; not a silent tear, but groans of anguish; not a weak smile, but ecstatic celebration. Jesus’ emotions are like a mountain river cascading with clear water. My feelings are more like a muddy foam or a feeble trickle.” G. Walter Hansenin, Christianity Today.
Our emotions can be an influential force for driving innovation and motivate our communities if we master them. The other side of that coin is our feelings can betray us as unstable and untrustworthy leaders. Insert what whatever example that is running through your mind.
You must strive to remain above reproach.
“So, the church’s supervisor must be without fault. They should be faithful to their spouse, sober, modest, and honest. They should show hospitality and be skilled at teaching.” 1 Timothy 3:2
Scientists now say a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic. The opulent, 900-foot cruise ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage, from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the worst maritime disaster of the time.
The most widely held theory was that the ship hit an iceberg, which opened a huge gash in the side of the liner. But an international team of divers and scientists recently used sound waves to probe the wreckage, buried in the mud under two-and-a-half miles of water. Their discovery? The damage was surprisingly small. Instead of the huge gash, they found six relatively narrow slits across the six watertight holds.
Small damage, invisible to most, can sink not only a great ship but a great reputation.
USA Today, April 9, 1997.
It doesn’t take a massive rip in the ship of our character to sink our boat, but small cracks are all the space Satan needs to destroy all that God is doing in our lives and ministry. “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.” R Zaccharias
All leaders must set up a hedge of support and boundaries to protect the integrity of their lives and ministry teams. Commit to prayer, remain in the word and guard your life and teaching. Have prayer warriors praying for you and with you. The devil would love nothing more than to take you out. Be wise, be on guard be proactive the ministry you save may be your own.
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