In his letter to the Philippians (Phil. 3:10-16), the Apostle Paul repeats the directive to “press on”. He implores us to not run the race, “like someone running aimlessly”. He wants us to run like we expect to win.
Running requires forward momentum – forward thinking, the ability to think beyond where I was, and farther ahead from where I find myself today.
Running requires me to be on the guard for detours – and dodge them at all costs.
Running requires me to stay on course, not run around in circles or stray off the track.
Running requires perseverance and an expectation of victory!
I want you to go back four sentences and this time, replace the word ‘running’ with ‘leadership’.
Ministerial leadership must begin with goals. Those goals should
- Come from a heart truly moved by the Holy Spirit
- Envision a future that benefits the Kingdom
- Begin and end from a place of prayer and supplication
Ministerial leadership goals should be definable, concise, and shared. Once these goals are named, there is an important element in the race that so many leaders miss. It is the process of casting the vision.
Casting the vision requires two of the most critical skills of being a leader – that of communication and that of delegation. A leader should be able to get to the point, clearly state the expectations, and persuade the movers and shakers to get behind the goals and move it forward. Helping people to name and identify their gifts and graces will help them find their role in the sending forth of those goals. But the MARK that leaders need to hit is NOT to get them behind and supportive of the LEADER, but rather to motivate them to rally behind and support of the goals as a means of honoring God who originally gave the goals to the hearts of the leadership.
Leaders must communicate not only the goals but clearly outline how to achieve those goals. When people are not on the same page as their leadership (or leadership is not on the same page as the people), conflict and confusion will reign.
Leaders must RUN the race – a constant –
an action that is always moving forward, YES, a VERB!
Leaders must set the prize and dodge all oncoming obstacles.
Leaders must PRAY.
Leaders must communicate.
Take leadership up a few notches and revisit these goals at LEAST once a year. Then cast that vision wide and invite everyone to define their role to realize the vision. Pray without ceasing and keep running – don’t look back – just keep running.