What is leadership if we do not listen to others, we do not strengthen others, and we do not have faith in who the Lord has called us to be?
Listen to people. I was talking to someone recently who brought up a current situation I am dealing with at home and the person walked away from me while I was speaking. I understand this person doesn't appreciate negative speak, but the situation wasn't positive and was brought up anyway, and I was not afforded the decency of being heard to completion. When we truly listen to what people are saying, we have the ability to see beyond words, and recognize the person's own area of struggle. If it were drugs brought into my home (which it was NOT), and I were battling temptation because of it...as my leader, I would rightfully expect you to hear me out and pray for me as I would hit my knees just as fast for you. We all go through tough times, and as I have said before, there is no shame in struggling. The shame comes when we have to stand before our leader with evidence of a prayer-less battle lost unnecessarily. When you walk away as a leader, you are rejecting their words and shaming the person. Listen to the pain beyond the words.
Pray for others...it's where our strength comes from. Moses didn't have the strength to keep his arms up to win the battle in Exodus 17; he had two others to hold up his arms. When his arms were not up, the battle was lost; when his arms were up, the battle was won. We don't fight battles as they were back then; but, the spiritual fight will continue on until the day He returns or until we meet Him face to face. Our arms may fall & it may seem we are losing the battle, but we are winners with others at our side.
Strengthen one another. When I think of mentoring, I think of strengthening. My heart weeps because of what I see in leadership. I see a people so terrified of losing position. To be honest, I was there not long ago. While I didn't lose position, I walked away from positions I held in obedience to what I believe was the Lord's leading. Now I am searching for accountability for myself, and looking for ways I can be the leader He has called me to be. It's not easy. People will say "I will be your mentor" but they don't mean it, though in my heart I wish they did. I am fully aware of how flippantly people will say something and not truly mean it. It's a sad state we are in when our words cannot be steadfast.
Larry Burkett, in his book Business by the Book, stresses the importance of leadership. He states "the key to success of any organization is found in two key elements; the leadership and the people..." (p. 103). With the proper people in place, regardless of the inevitable human imperfections, an organization cannot help but flourish. The Bible states "plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Psalm 15:22). When proper leadership is in place, the integrity of any organization will remain steadfast. We don't have to fight for position, and if we are where we should be, we should bring others along side, and even press them to achieve more. I want this not just when the time comes for me to open Destiny's Refuge, but NOW; and, I want to see it in the leaders around me.
I struggle so much to try and fit, but realize so clearly now that I am simply a misfit. I don't fit into other's idea of perfection, I may not have a brilliant mind, but I am me...I do my best to live right, to be an example for others...and what is that if not leadership? I came across something I wrote once: "at times I wonder if I am potentially not skilled enough to be a strong leader, or not qualified enough to be a manager; however, I have come to realize that for me, it is best to be both [not qualified 'enough' & not skilled 'enough']." Because of Christ, we are sufficient; and, I know that deep within each of us is the knowledge that God is intimately involved in our lives. We can turn and attempt to become self sufficient, or we can let go and allow the grace of God to be sufficient for us. The Bible says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Cor 12:9).
Let's be leaders by listening, strengthening, and KNOWING who we are in Him!