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Youniquely Designed for Leadership

Is leadership one of your spiritual gifts? If so, I have a question for you to ponder:

Where are you involved (a group or an activity) where you are not providing leadership?

If you can name something, feel free to go back to whatever you were doing before you began reading this post. But if you are still pondering the question, you might just need to read on…

Leaders like to lead. That’s just the way we are wired. The Spirit has given us this gift and we exercise it regularly because it comes naturally, or because we are convicted about being a good steward of the gift we’ve received, or because others see our gift and call it forth.

If there is one thing that a leader dislikes, it’s a leadership vacuum–a group or project that has no leader. So what do we do? All too often, we can’t resist stepping in to fill the vacuum. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s not. Here are some of the unfavorable consequences of giving in to the urge to fill a leadership vacuum:

  • an ever-growing shortage of capable leaders
  • a group or ministry that is on artificial life support–its time has long expired and it needs to die so that something fresh and relevant can be birthed
  • missed opportunities to allow new leaders to emerge and develop their leadership abilities
  • a less than passionate leader doing a half-hearted job of leading
  • a leader whose “big picture” has been torn into so many fragments that it is no longer discernible
  • a leader who can’t muster the energy to get out of bed in the morning
  • a leader who doesn’t remember how to follow…

Jesus said, “Follow me”…

There is real danger in forgetting how to follow.

Be part of something–a small group, a sports team, a ministry project, the PTA… whatever–someplace where, rather than leading, you are following someone else’s lead. Discipline yourself to follow for a change. Deny the impulse to fill the vacuum. In the process of following, you may just learn something new about leading.

4 thoughts on “Youniquely Designed for Leadership

  1. Great thoughts, Andee! Often we don’t take advantage of the opportunity to develop others because we are too full of ourselves. Learning how to walk alongside, and prompt a new leader with questions and asking their opinions often stimulates them and encourages them to step up into that leadership role. Sometimes a new leader can be unsure and just needs some confidence boosting. Its a wonderful experience to watch a new leader bloom and to know that in some small way you encouraged it! God gives believers their gifts and we as fellow believers need to encourage people to use them.

    • I think one of my favorite experiences with team leadership was coming alongside a member who was not your stereotypical leader–he was very quiet, slow to comment, choosing his words thoughtfully. Most people just overlooked him when it came to leadership. I asked Jim to lead our ministry team and spent the better part of a year encouraging and mentoring him. It was such a joy and privilege to watch him step into his new role. His style was totally different from mine, but it really fit our team better than mine did!

  2. Good post Andee. Lots chew on while stil feeling my way through this new season. Good to remember as a leader that at timed it is my to follow. It is hard to let someone else be in the driver seat.

    • It is a challenge, to be sure, especially when leadership comes as naturally as it does to you, Rachel! But I think it’s essential to maintaining a humble posture in our own leadership that we can submit to someone else’s. I think the problem that often arises is whether we can trust the leader we are submitting to to lead us faithfully and well!

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