The first two lessons were 1) maintaining a learning posture throughout life and 2) valuing spiritual authority as a primary power base. The next two lessons were 3) recognising the importance of leadership selection and development and 4) maintaining a dynamic ministry philosophy. This week we finish looking at Clinton’s six leadership lessons.
5) Effective leaders demonstrate a growing awareness of their sense of destiny.
It is important to understand that leaders aren’t born or grown primarily, but ultimately they are chosen by God. God has called, equipped each one of us into leadership. Not only so, but He has also provided assurances to us that this is where we are called to be.
We are not to take these assurances lightly.
Clinton calls these moments of assurance, these moments when God reveals little bits of His plan and purposes for our lives: Destiny Process Items. They can be acts, people, timing or circumstances, which hint at some future or special significance to a life. Each of them add to a sense of destiny.
E.gs of Destiny Process Items:
- Prayers (of parents, of other leaders, of self)
- Parental sense
- Faith acts
- Context or heritage
- Circumstances of birth/preservation of life
One of my own experiences of Destiny Process Items was when I heard God speak to me! (sounds crazy!) When I was 13 my parents felt God calling them to move city to the other side of England, to a city we barely knew. The summer we were moving, I remember talking to God and asking Him to convince me that He was real. His response…led me to fully fledged allegiance to Him. But I remember as well, hearing that He had plans for me in the new city to which we were moving to.
Over the years since then God has brought various other experience, some more “mundane”, some more “extravagant” and exciting. But each, stoking a fire in my heart towards the calling He has place on my life. Each providing assurances and confidence in the leadership He has destined me towards.
I would seriously encourage people, to create a timeline and start to map out each of the destiny experiences that you have been given. They lead you to worship and thank God, to remember how far He has brought you, and gives you a growing awareness of the sense of destiny in your life, ministry and leadership.
6) Effective leaders increasingly perceive their ministry in terms of a lifetime perspective.
I think this is very self-explanatory. Our world at the moment is very short term orientated. It is said that the current generation has many different jobs even before they reach 30 years old! What we must realise is just as God is making us more like Jesus over the span of a lifetime (Romans 8:29), so too is He developing us as leaders.
We must not perceive our ministry, our co-labouring with Jesus in terms of the day by day successes or failures. Instead we must focus on the BIG PICTURE.
I would go even further and say that we must see ministry in terms of eternity. Think of Stephen, called to lead and ‘wait tables’ (Acts 6-7). Even by a lifetime measurement, his ministry was a failure. He ended up dying before his life had its biggest impact. If you don’t believe me read all of Acts 7:51-8:1 (with particular notice of v58). Then Acts 9…then the first sentence of pretty much every book in the New Testament.