Call me old-fashioned or idealistic if you wish, but my passionate plea is that we unearth and restore the importance of character. It’s been buried long enough. It belongs first on our list when searching for employees in the workplace.
Vision, integrity, articulation, courage, and a thick skin—all are the basic requirements for leadership. Other requirements could be added; for the follower of Christ, godliness is essential. Whether in government, business, education, ministry, or the home, these six traits form the foundation of successful Christian leadership. These qualities do not come through osmosis but through disciplined study and practice, often marked by failure. However, the greatest leaders are not deterred by hardship and failure. Theirs is a high calling with deep responsibility.
If you are in a position of leadership—and chances are good that you are—you may need to sharpen your vision for the future, strengthen your integrity, and find new sources of courage. Insight for Living, by introducing you to godly leaders of the past, is committed to encouraging you in this pursuit, as well as challenging you to grow in godliness.
In the book of Nehemiah, I found seven essential skills that today’s Christian leaders can use as stones on which to build their own strategy for leadership.
When God scans the earth for potential leaders, He is not on a search for angels in the flesh. He is certainly not looking for perfect people. He is searching for men and women like you and me, mere people made up of flesh, bone, and blood.
When God selects His leaders He wants people who will not take the glory that belongs to Him alone. This is why He will often put us in seemingly impossible situations, so that when the victory is achieved no one can say that it was anything but God’s doing.
Every leader or would-be leader must ask and answer the question, “What am I going to do with my life?” Regardless of how one answers this question, at some point one will have to say “no” in order to pursue their life calling.
Our acute need is to cultivate a willingness to learn and to remain teachable. How beautiful it is to find a servant-hearted, teachable spirit among those who occupy high-profile positions of authority.
Good leaders will say, “Stay at it!” Ever notice how motivated and strengthened you feel when you have people who come alongside and let you know they want you to succeed? And the result? “Many people were brought to the Lord.”
Humility to be a servant leader does not come from thinking we are better than others, or can lay claim to some man-made title. It comes from recognizing who we are, as one under the sovereignty of God gifted by Him for the task of leading.
Legacies don’t just happen. They don’t fall out of heaven, materialize in the middle of our living rooms, or appear on our doorsteps accompanied by a knock and a note. Legacies are created.