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Why Are You Leading?--A Blueprint
People truly do hunger and thirst for Truth. If you feed your people, they will naturally grow into leaders themselves. That is what leaders do—they reproduce. To effectively reproduce, your message must not only be preached, but lived. Anything short of that smells of hypocrisy. And believe me hypocrisy can be smelled a mile away.
You must train your people in all areas. Your job is to present the whole counsel of God, not just part. One of the key areas of teaching is that of Christian character. The only way you can lead your people into a life of Christian Character is by you first being there.
First rule of leadership—you cannot lead someone where you have not been. If you are lacking Christian character forget about leading anyone else to Christian character. Before you open your mouth you need a life that backs your words.
What areas of life should we consider? Let us consider Philippians 4:8—“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Truth is a vital part of Christian character. Spiritual leaders cannot be given to lies and deceit. God’s leaders must be known as men and women of truth. Trust is so easy to lose, but so very difficult to regain. Concentrate on going the extra mile to be truthful in your dealings with church people, business acquaintances, neighbors, everybody. If you are to lead properly there must be no question as to your truthfulness. People desire to be led in truth, not falsities.
Lead your people honestly. Do not try to cheat or abuse your position by being dishonest. Lay everything out on the table and be transparent. Dishonesty, like lies will ruin your leadership potential as well as your ministry. Seek in all your dealings to be honest and forthright.
Treat your people justly or fairly. Favorites tend to tarnish the badge of leadership. Not all your people will be treated the same way because they are not the same, but each must still be treated in a way that is fair, and in a way that shows no favoritism. There will be people to whom you will feel closer. Jesus had His inner circle of Peter, James, and John, but do not think for a minute He loved them more than Matthew or Thomas. Favorites tend to create jealousy and that is not where you want to lead your people.
Lead your flock into purity. Teach them the way to and the blessings of purity. We are filthy creatures by nature, and have no natural desire for purity. Once it is learned no Christian in a right relationship with Jesus would ever want anything else but purity. Teach purity of mind, thoughts and attitudes. Teach purity of actions. Teach purity of speech. This is an area sadly lacking in many Christians today.
Teach your people to look for the lovely. The love chapter, I Corinthians 13 in verse 7 says this, “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” In other words think the best of people. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Do not dwell on areas of sin, but dwell on the beauty of Christ and His healing power.
Give the good report. Do not look to downgrade or belittle anybody, but encourage them by noticing the good in them. The old saying, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all”, still holds true.
Look to the virtue of a person. Dwell on their excellence, their valor, as the word means. Concentrate on praise. Praise will do more to grow Christian Character more than negative comments ever will. We live in a negative society, but as we focus on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good reports, virtue and praise, you will see your people grow. Do not forget that through all of this you are leading. You are leading your people to follow the God of Heaven in Christian character.