As I’ve been reflecting a lot on my life, leadership and the conversations I’m having with others, I’ve noticed 3 reoccurring needs that emerge in the life of a leader. It’s these 3 needs that cause us to lead with more clarity, boldness and endurance.
Every Leader Needs Troubles and Trials – Leadership is not absent of troubles or trials. Without them there would be no need for leadership. Jesus told us in John 16:33b that “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Troubles and trials develop faith and fortitude in a leaders life. Notice in John 16:33a why he clued us into this truth: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” Principles alone do not produce leaders. It’s when principles are put into practice on the path of troubles and trials that leaders experience the power of the Holy Spirit to lead at a greater capacity. You can see this truth at work throughout scripture. A trouble arises, God finds a problem solver, a leader is born.
Every Leader Needs Tools – The Holy Spirit enables us to lead in ways we never thought were possible. 1 John 2:27 states that “his anointing teaches you about all things.” This gives me confidence as a leader that when I’m in over my head I have an instructor who is with me to do on site leadership training. Still yet there comes a time that even with the guarantee of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us we need practical tools at our disposal. Often times these tools come packaged in the lives of other people that God brings into our life to lift are leadership lid to new levels. This is why leaders cannot close themselves off from the communities they lead. Many times the tool you need is found in the people you lead. Case and point – There is a young man who started coming to our church who just wanted to be used by God. He was so hungry for God to move on his life so he could be used for God’s glory. I never saw this coming, but we needed a new look for our makeshift lobby at the school we rent. Out of nowhere this young man built the most incredible displays that would have cost us thousands of dollars to make. The tool we needed just needed to be empowered.
Every Leader Needs Time – Great leadership takes time to develop. I’ve been so encouraged over the last few weeks as I’ve read about leaders whose influence was overlooked until much later in their life. You may be familiar with the work of Eugene Peterson. He is mostly known for writing The Message, which took him 12 years to write. After being a pastor for 30 years, at the age of 60, publishers approached him about his work. Now, with popularity of The Message his other 35 other written works are read by people who he never expected would read his work. Peterson’s life is marked with “long obedience.” Time is a leader’s best friend. Many leaders know what they’re called to do, but many fail at when they are suppose to do it.
Troubles and trials, tools and timing are a catalyst to clarity, boldness and endurance in your leadership. Welcome and acknowledging these needs in your life are essential to your expanding your capacity as a leader.