The previous two lessons were 1) maintaining a learning posture throughout life and 2) valuing spiritual authority as a primary power base. We continue now looking at Bobby Clinton’s six leadership lessons which seem to appear consistently throughout the lives of many Christian leaders.
3) Effective leaders recognise leadership selection and development as a primary function.
I must admit, I go through seasons of prioritising this and seasons when it is hardly on my radar. It is one of the strongest appeals to working with the Navigators for so many years: they really get this!
In order to grow in this we need to train ourselves to be quick to recognise potential. This will often mean seeing people through the lenses of how God sees them (2 Corinthians 5:16). We also need to grow and practice the gift of encouragement (Romans 12:8). I think in my experience many Christians, including myself, can spend more time practicing the “gift” of “Constructive” criticism, that we actually discourage many people from stepping into leadership roles.
Lord please forgive me, please help me to be a spring of encouragement.
Another way we can get stronger in this lesson, is by being attentive to the ways in which God has selected and developed us. I think of chapter 1 in both 1 and 2 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 1, talks about remembering what we were like before Christ saved us, weak, foolish, not . 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 talks about how God has comforted us in order that we might comfort others. Reflecting on our past, our weakness and failures, can be significant means of development for those we seek to establish in leadership.
In my own life I thank God for the various leaders who have prioritised leadership selection and development towards me! My father, A. Gray, N. Carter, Liz and Sameh, T. Thomas, S. Burns. May I learn to be effective in this way too!
4) Effective leaders who are productive over a lifetime have a dynamic ministry philosophy.
We’ll probably talk about the details of what a ministry philosophy is later. But for now we can say that it refers to a set of values that underlie a leader’s perception and behaviour in their ministry. They are unique to each individual.
Clinton explains how they are defined by a leader’s encounters and response to SCRIPTURE, their unique GIFTEDNESS (including: Natural Abilities, Acquired Skills and Spiritual Gifts), and their own lived experience in specific SITUATIONS.
May we seek to have increased awareness around these three factors in our own lives. Which Bible passages, verses or stories most resonate with who God has made us to be. Which promises of God excite us the most, which challenge us, which have significantly impacted the direction of our lives. (For me I have been powerfully inspired by Col 1:28-29).
May we seek to understand, practice and steward those gifts God has given us. And may we be attentive to the particular needs of each situation in which we are called to lead.
It is not enough to know, our unique ministry philosophy. Instead we must also
- Keep it dynamic, growing and changing. Continue to be aware of how God wants us to develop it.This requires humility, teachability and receptivity.
- Have courage to focus on that which we are called to and ignore all else.
- Seek to define it as much as possible, in order that we can articulate the beliefs we hold effectively, compassionately and wisely!