Last fall, I had the opportunity to participate in a semester-long Kingdom Leadership Development course through a local seminary and my home church. It was a transformational experience. Recently, the director of the program requested that I pray throughout the semester for and write letters of encouragement and direction to a few of the men in the current spring Kingdom Leadership course. Naturally, I was thrilled to pray for these men daily and welcomed the opportunity to pour into their lives as they desired to grow in both leadership and in their walk with Christ. As the leader of a fledgling men’s ministry, I spend much of my time and energy discussing God’s desire for men to be leaders in their family, at work (ministry), at church, and in their community at-large.
As I prayed and meditated in the Word for these men, the Leadership class-at-large, and our church for the last several months, I have been led by the Lord to share the following “3 Keys to Effective Christian Leadership” with not only them but any men seeking to advance in the area of Kingdom Leadership:
Key #1: Effective leadership in any of the four areas (family, work, church, and community) requires an active and obedient relationship with Christ. This involves communicating with the Lord daily, and the best way to do that is the simplest – be in the Word and pray. Men, the best advice I can give you, as it was given to me, is to begin and end EVERY DAY on your knees and in the Word. If you are not already doing so please make this a new habit. If you think you don’t have enough time, make it – do not become a slave to your schedule; your Master is the Lord.
Psalm 119:105 – Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Key #2: Effective leadership in any of the four areas (family, work, church, community) requires modeling Jesus as the “servant leader.” Every year on Good Friday, I am immediately reminded of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (John 13), one of the greatest examples of Christ “serving” rather than “being served.” The focal point of servant leadership within the church is “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” In the church today, you may find many more celebrities than servants – Make it your leadership mission to be a servant rather than a celebrity. Within the Kingdom, ALL leadership should be servant leadership.
Matthew 20:26-28 – 26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
John 13:4-8 – …4 [He] rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
Key #3: Effective leadership in any of the four areas (family, work, church, community) requires genuine connection between the leader and those being led. For those of us operating within a Christian worldview, connection is the reason why we are here; we are to be connected with God (through the Word) and with each other (through fellowship). Most leaders, especially men, overlook one primary component when forming connections with those they are charged with leading – “Vulnerability.” Most men refuse any position of vulnerability straight away. We run from vulnerability, finding ways to mask, numb, or flee from any pain. The result is loads of shame and fear which happen to be two primary ingredients for “disconnection.” We often associate vulnerability with “brokenness,” and as men, as leaders, brokenness is equivalent to weakness. I am here to tell you now, that your vulnerability, your brokenness IS NOT a weakness. In the context of a Kingdom worldview, humbling yourself, being comfortable resting in your brokenness, puts you in the best position for obedience to God and therefore the best position for providing Godly leadership.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In our current cultural environment, asking a man, especially a man in a leadership position, to pursue an active and obedient relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, to model “servant leadership” after that of Christ, and to adopt a position of vulnerability in order to maximize the benefit of Christ’s power seems “radical.” In fact, it is very radical. Men, I am calling on you to “Stand Up & Stand Out,” “Speak Up & Speak Out,” “Live Up & Live out,” “Lead Up & Lead Out” all for the glory of Christ. I am calling on you to be a “Radical Man.”
Colossians 3:23-24 – 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
1 Peter 5:2-4 – 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
I will continue to pray for these men, their class, the church, and any other men who answer the call of the Lord to lead in their families, at work (ministry), at church, and in their community at-large. I am very excited to see where God moves all the #RadicalMen in leadership and ministry. We are in desperate need of revival in our culture and I honestly believe that this revival is dependent on men getting engaged with the Lord, with eachother, and their families (both origin and church). Please feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions about this letter or to just let me know where God is moving you – I honestly love to hear those stories from brothers in Christ. You can leave comments on my page below, through Facebook, or through my ministry email address, email@example.com.