I have to admit something to all of you…… I Have ALWAYS wanted to be a leader! I don’t think it’s because I want to “boss” people around; rather it’s because I feel God has gifted me with leadership abilities that HE CAN (if I let HIM) use to draw others closer to HIM.
With that being said, I have learned that:
People will not follow you long term if they do not like you.: This has taken me a while to come to understand. In my past few years as a Youth Pastor (AKA LEADER) I have learned that it doesn’t really matter how much you pay someone…you just can’t pay people enough to like you!!! Eventually, if you are not a leader who actually likes people they will leave (for a lesser salary) to go and work for someone who they do like.
This even plays out in church world too. Don’t think that because you work in a church you are exempt from this! As a church leader, your main obsession should not be to be LIKED but rather to be LOYAL to the One who has called, chosen and equipped you for ministry.
The good news is that one does not have to be sacrificed for the other…
You do not have to become a people pleaser and turn your back on God – This has (and still is) something I have to work through daily!
And you do not have to be a ruthless, manipulative dictator because you are “honoring God’s call on your life!”
One of the things I’m personally discovering as a leader is…
The closer I walk with Jesus the more I love and care about people…and the more people understand that I care WAY MORE about WHO THEY ARE BECOMING than what they are actually doing then they are way more likely to buy into me as a leader–which is important because people buy into a leader WAY before they buy into what he/she is leading. (Trust me, I have learned this the hard way!)
(Leaders, don’t FREAK OUT when you read this!!! If a person is becoming more like Jesus they will naturally do their best work…but if they are so immersed in doing work that they aren’t becoming more like Christ then you are in trouble. Most likely you are driving them out of fear and insecurity rather than leading them out of love and genuine concern!)
So, saying all of this–what is it that every leader needs to know?
Simple: **********LOVING JESUS = LOVING PEOPLE NOT USING THEM!!!!********
I believe that leaders that have positive long term impact are the ones who care way more about others than they do themselves.
I cannot be a leader who honors God and His call on my life if I do not love the people who He has called and equipped to work with me. (Just something I have been working through)