Leadership: A Tool in the Hands of God
Leadership. The very word sounds attractive, maybe even exhilarating.
I’ve talked to many people over the years who’ve actually said that they long to be in leadership. They want to lead a worship team or serve on a leadership team within their church, run the Sunday-school program, and the list goes on.
Though leading can be fun, exciting, and definitely has some perks, at the end of the day, leadership is a burden: a God-ordained and God-orchestrated burden.
The pressure, perplexity, and pain that are brought about from being in leadership are some of the most effective tools that God uses to form us more and more into His likeness. At the same time, He is gently guiding us into greater depths of love and humility.The pressure, perplexity, and pain that are brought about from being in leadership are some of the most effective tools that God uses to form us more and more into His likeness. Click To Tweet
Everyone is leading someone
Let me clarify that no matter what your occupation is, you are leading. This isn’t just for those who have a platform ministry – all of us have a sphere in which we are leading in some way, and probably on a daily basis. At work, church, school, even parenting in your home – the role of leader is yours.
Wherever you find yourself leading today, no matter the size of your church or ministry, small group or circle of friends, you are bearing this burden in some way. This is an incredible gift of God to you!Though leading can be fun, exciting, and definitely has some perks, at the end of the day, leadership is a burden: a God-ordained and God-orchestrated burden. Click To Tweet
Leadership: a tool in the hands of God
God’s desire for our lives isn’t first and foremost that we would be comfortable. In His goodness, He desires that we would be fashioned and formed into His likeness as we learn to love Him and others. Unfortunately, our natural human tendency is to run in the total opposite direction of this. Because of this, God hedges us in with different things to help us. One of these things is giving us people to lead.
This in no way means that God is out to make us miserable, barely navigating through unenjoyable lives. He’s actually trying to help us have the most enjoyable life, a life centered around Him. He’s committed to helping us find true life, which is really only found when we lose our lives in complete surrender. It is essential to be consumed by Him alone. Leadership is one of the fences that God has built around us in order to hedge us in to the pursuit of love.
Let me bring some perspective to what I’m saying. Burden for burden’s sake is depressing. But the burden that leadership brings is unto a glorious purpose, in this case, mining the depths of love. This whole thing is about growing in love for God and people.
As leaders, God is inviting us to love those we lead. This doesn’t always happen naturally. People are broken. People have issues. Every person on this planet has a unique history – a lifetime of different experiences that has shaped his or her worldview and expectations. For the sake of this chapter, these are the people on your worship team. God says, Lead them.God’s desire for our lives isn’t first and foremost that we would be comfortable. In His goodness, He desires that we would be fashioned and formed into His likeness as we learn to love Him and others. Click To Tweet
Let me say this as clearly as I can. We should never expect to do the second commandment – loving people – unless we’re doing the first commandment – loving God. Leading my team well demands that I do the second commandment, which leaves me no other option than to do the first commandment. It’s almost as if God has tricked me. He knew that giving me people to lead would force me to press into Him.
God longs for you to be fashioned and formed into His likeness. One of the main ways for this to happen is first, for you to see how desperate your need is for Him and second, for you to spend time with Him to meet that need. It is funny how so many times when everything in life is going smoothly and simply, it’s easy for us to neglect spending the kind of quality time with God that we should. There’s nothing like the responsibility of leading others to make us see our need for God’s character to be formed in our heart as we’re forced to rely completely on Him.
To put it plainly, if I weren’t leading people, I wouldn’t talk to God nearly as much. Even though I’d like to think otherwise, I know this to be true from personal experience.
Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Mt Baker National Forest, WA. Check out more of his work here.