BEHIND A GREAT LEADER… IS AN EVEN GREATER GOD!
Any study of leadership and its practice always carries with it the temptation to view leadership as merely a matter of dos and don’ts. As if one’s success as a leader depends solely on one’s effort. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
In the end, the sovereign God determines your success or failure as a leader. Many persons are more intelligent and better prepared than others, yet they don’t become the leaders they seemed destined to be. Quite surprisingly, those who are less qualified become great Christian leaders. This surprising fact is because God wants to use the lowly things of this world to humble the wise (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-28).
This reality has several implications. First, your dependence must always rest on the enabling that comes from God. You can master every technique contained in this book and many other books, but success may still elude you. This fact is because God is the one who determines how far you can go as a leader. So while you attend to the means God has provided to improve as a leader, your heart must not gravitate to these tools. You must remind yourself incessantly that the fruits of your labor will emanate from the grace that comes from above.
Second, be reminded that your first duty is to cultivate love and devotion to God. Your private religion is non-negotiable. The Reformers call this communion with God. Having been united to Christ when you were converted, your overarching aim must be to deepen your fellowship with the Triune God. Leading others comes a poor second (if not third or fourth) in comparison to our fellowship with our Creator.
Third, because God disposes of all things, we need not be discouraged by “failures”. From a human standpoint, we may fail. But viewed from the lens of eternity, all things that happen to us is for our spiritual good (see Romans 8:28). What encouragement to Christian leaders! In the final analysis, we will surely be successful. All Christians will end up in heaven with their heavenly Father and will thus successful.
Throughout this book, I have attempted to define success in the eyes of God. As we end our time together, it is worth synthesizing what we learned. For a Christian leader, success is when we obey God’s will for our lives. Success is when we become more Christ-like. Success is, therefore, not measured in terms of popularity, wealth, or power. It is ultimately before you and God. You may “fail” in the estimation of people but be hugely successful in the eyes of God. There is no better example of this than our Lord Jesus. He died in a horrible and despicable way, which shouts “loser” to all who saw Him on the cross that day. But at that very moment, He cried “It is finished”. He succeeded in paying the penalty for our sins. He triumphed over sin and evil and is now seated victorious, the most successful Leader in history.
So if you are someone who is just starting your leadership journey, fasten your belt. You are about to start an exciting adventure, one that is a life-long discovery of who you are, and more importantly, who God is. I promise you there will be tears, but blessedly, there will be much more joys.
At the end of it all, may Paul’s words be ours too:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).