There is a tremendous lack of leadership in this world today. We see in every field – government, politics, science, education, military and entertainment. None of these groups of our society have any solutions. They are failures in the realm of leadership. Most leaders today were believers at one time, this country was based on Christian values but they abandoned their faith for fame and fortune. They sold us out for their own financial gain. There is no one to lead us out of this moral dilemma which has us all tangled up. I think that this is the worst time in the history of the Church. The world is ripe for the taking.
It is important for a good leader to know; What is your foundation? What is at the core, the cornerstone that everything else builds on? The answer is your faith in Jesus Christ and the love you have for others. Christian character is our mark engraved into something enduring. We can mold behavior, but we must chisel our character into true Christian leadership by the life of Christ through the Gospels. His example should be foremost in our heart.
Experience is one of the most important aspects of leadership that can only be obtained through time. This quality must be directed by the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. You can have all the knowledge in the world in education and never qualify as a leader. Life is going to drag you through all kinds of difficulties and test. You will soon find out that humiliation is a learning process to leadership. Experience will teach you that life is full of ups and downs, but a leader is someone who keeps an even keel. Never letting your emotions get to high or to low.
Leaders have certain raw talents that are attainable by most anyone who searches for them. You have to have drive, a strong will and ambition. You have to be a self-starter, someone who makes things happen. You can obtain this talent through will – power. In turn will power requires you to use energy and strength to overcome an obstacle. Will-power is an inner strength that overcomes emotional and mental resistance for taking action. It is one of the cornerstones of success. Will-power and self-discipline helps us to choose our behavior and reactions instead of being their slaves. One way to develop and improve this ability is to practice doing disagreeable things in your daily life. For example: There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them until later. Get up and wash them now. You come home from school and sit in front of the T.V. when you know you have homework to do. Get up and do it now.
Overcome your laziness and your bad habits. Convince yourself of the importance of what is to be done and do it. Practice these mental exercises every day. You need will power and self-discipline in order to rule your thoughts and to be the boss of your own mind. Self control of your thoughts and emotions leads to Self Respect. The person with self-respect simply likes themselves. Self respect is not based on success because there are always failures to deal with in life. Neither is it the result of comparing ourselves with others because there is always someone better. We simply like ourselves because of who we are and not because of what we can or can’t do. A natural leader is decisive. Evaluate the importance of your options. Chose between ideas by projecting likely outcomes. Weigh the pros and cons and look at the decision from all points of view. This is how you seize the moment.
True leaders are involved and are always in the middle of the action. You can’t daydream in school, Sunday school and Church and expect one day to find yourself in charge. You have to take control of your mind and focus on the task at hand. You can not lead the way if you don’t know where you are going. Instead of doodling on a piece of paper in Church you should be taking notes. Instead of texting a friend while we pray in Church you should be praying with us and you should be singing while we sing. Unless you listen in Church you will never understand the deeper meaning of the sermon. Unless you listen to the pastors words while we pray or sing with us all the words as we sing they have no meaning. The Holy Spirit doesn’t have any positive impact. Unless you participate you are not worshiping God. This is a very competitive world you have to take the extra step to climb the highest. If you are not involved you are not benefiting from the service.
Real leaders of this world have character. It is a formula that is the essential foundation which true leadership is based on. Character is not something you are born with. It is not given to you on a platter. It is the righteousness you earn through humility, integrity, trustworthiness,courage, and the most important of all is love. These are the virtues that Jesus Christ displayed while he was on earth. Paul the Apostle said “ Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. NKJV
Far too often in this world there is someone too quick to humiliate another human being. These people have been around though out all of time. They are especially bad in these last times. They are described in the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! NASB
One of the main keys to good Christian character is to be humble. Be modest in spirit; deeply or courteously respectful; take a lower position to others: be unpretentious and meek. Leaders are often tempted by the sin of pride. They receive a little responsibility and have a tendency to think more of them self than they should. They let their ego get in the way of their humility. “ You younger people, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS APPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. “ 1 Peter 5:5,6 NKJV
I surrender, I surrender, I surrender all. Hand over all of your personal ambitions. I worked and toiled for years trying to make something of myself for myself. I never amounted to a hill of beans until I surrender my life, my will, my emotions and my possessions to Jesus Christ. I never found joy, happiness and wealth until I humbled myself before God. You see all these years that we toil on this earth for this possession or that material object won’t matter at all in the end.
Integrity simple put means to be honest, to be upright in your personal and business dealings with others. Proverbs 11:3 says, “ The integrity of the upright shall guide them : but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” NKJV People who are popular are not necessarily good leaders. All they do is make people with no character feel good about them selves. Good character creates respect from others; which produces trust and motivates people to follow what is right.
One of my favorite hymns is “Trust and Obey,” by Rev. J. H. Sammis.
But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay,
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Do not place your trust in dead things like wealth, fame and popularity. These things go no further than the grave, but place your trust in the Living Son of God, who’s wisdom and knowledge can go with you throughout eternity. When you are born into this world you are neutral. You are neither a sinner or are you saved. But every day you grow, control of your mind goes over to satan. You are controlled by sin. Look at the two-year old who doesn’t want to share his toys. Who will actually hit or bit another child who wants to play with the same blocks he or she is playing with. The older we get the more we are controlled by sin.
Now for us to escape sin. For us to escape the control it has over our life we have to surrender that sin, or our life to Christ. It is an unnatural act, because the natural person on this earth is possessed by sin. So we have to give over our selves so that Jesus Christ may possess our hearts, mind and souls. When He has completed this task there is absolutely nothing left in us because all of what we were was sin. Now when we surrender our life, our emotions, our will and our possessions to Christ we become completely empty. This is the only way God can re create us in His on likeness. There are countless thousands upon millions of people who believe there is a God, but are not willing to lose what they deem as control of their life. People are fooled into believing that they are in charge and the older we get the more we are controlled by Satan, the harder our heart becomes to the gospel, the harder it is to surrender control. They believe Christ, but they never give over their life to Him so that He can purify their hearts from sin.
It is an amazing thing. We have to surrender to become free. We have to give ourselves away to gain control through Jesus Christ. There isn’t any middle ground. You are either controlled by Satan or you are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Believing and doing go hand in hand. It is impossible for you to trust in the Lord and not follow in His foot steps. It is impossible for you to trust in the Lord and not want to serve Him in some capacity. It is impossible for the Lord to trust you until you have proven yourself worthy. We read about leaders in the Bible taken a hiatus, an escape to search out the things of God. Moses spent years in the desert herding sheep before God called him. Paul spent 2 years in the desert becoming acquainted with the New Testament plan that Jesus Christ wanted him to share with the world. Our public ministry may not have the impact that Paul’s did, however it is just as important to Jesus. Just one person’s soul is worth countless millions of dollars in gold.
Courage is one of the last character traits we receive. We have to have a lot of confidence in our Biblical knowledge to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with another human being. Bible study, prayer and practice builds courage. When you share your own personal experiences with someone there will be a point in that conversation where the Holy Spirit of God takes over your words and transcends God’s message to that individual. My beloved children of God, do not be afraid. All you have to do is take the first step, say the first few words and the Holy Spirit that resides in your heart will do the rest. Trust in Him. Leadership without the love of God is nothing. Even if you were one of the greatest speakers in heaven and on earth, without love you would be nothing but a sounding bell, a tinkling cymbal. If you had all the leadership abilities of a prophet, understood all the mysteries of the earth, obtained all knowledge and had faith enough to move mountains, and did not have the love of God , you would be nothing. If you sacrificed yourself to the point of death and gave away all your possessions to the poor, without love it would profit you nothing. Wanting to lead and setting the example starts with the love you have for others. That’s why you have to be wiling to take it on the chin, turn the other cheek, be slow to anger and even slower to fight back. Because when you respond to insults with insults, hatred with hatred, and anger with anger you lose. Yes, you lose your dignity, you lose your respect and you lose any chance what so ever you may have of influencing another person in righteousness. When you let someone else take control of your emotions with a few hateful words you lose everything you have worked so hard for. Bite your tongue if you have too, fold your hands or walk away because you can’t lead someone else to Christ if that someone else is leading you astray. So let us be like-minded, having compassion for one another, humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “ The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 NASB
Some people can observe the big picture simple because they appreciate the smaller things in life. The ability to give to others in one form or another is in no way hindered or enhanced by the size of the gift. It is the giver’s sacrificial faithfulness that is the true measure of the gift. For example, if you had a closet full of old clothes that you gave to someone in need or if you took your favorite jacket and gave it to someone who is cold. What would be the greater gift? If you only donated the canned food you didn’t like or you donated your favorite. What would be the greater gift? It is not the greatness of the gift but the greatness of the God in which it is given. Then He takes the sacrifice or gift from people who are faithful and multiplies them to accomplish great things.
It is amazing to me that God takes the weak things of this life and makes them a great service unto Himself. I am an excellent example. I am a worthless piece of garbage that Jesus Christ lifted up out of the gutter and set on the curb. There isn’t any good in me whatsoever. It is very important for you to understand that the good things you see me do is not me, it is Jesus Christ living through me. When I accepted Christ as my Savior, He took what I had created of myself and wiped it clean with the sacrifice that He made on the cross. He transformed me into His servant and a son of God through the process of regeneration that takes place through the Holy Spirit. For consider your calling, brethren, that there was not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen the things which are not, so that He may nullify the things which are, so that no man can boast before God. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NASB When Jesus selected His disciples, He chose fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot and even a traitor. These were not the highly educated people of their day. People with a high regard of themselves general make poor servants. That is why Jesus taught His disciples, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35 NKJV
I have learned to look for the person who is not likely to go along with the crowd. Maybe someone who stands off by themselves. Someone who does not appear to be over-confident. These are the people whom I chose to share my testimony. They are one with God’s own heart and a lot of times don’t even realize it. They tend to be more receptive to what I have to say. God’s favorite type of person to use is a nobody. He takes someone without any skills for service and transforms them into a servant leader. If that person is like me, I went kicking and screaming all the way. I am continually telling God that I don’t know how to do what He requests of me. He proves me wrong every single time. Now reflect that into your own character and tell me what you come up with. Look inside of yourself and ask, “ Am I ready to be a leader for Christ? Am I ready to surrender everything I have to serve Him?” The answer to those questions is yes. The fact of the matter is, you don’t have anything. Everything you think you have will be gone one day anyway. So don’t make the mistake that I did. Don’t rely on your own ability. I promise you in the end it will fail you miserably.
The Bible is not a book that you can sit down, read and understand. The true meaning of Scriptures is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. Find you a quite place to read and pray to God to open your eyes so that you may see and to open your ears so that you may hear. Do these things in Jesus Christ name.
Now let’s get started. Take a character who was a leader in the Bible. Study ever thing there is about this person. Read ever scripture that mentions this person’s name. Now find other books that are written about your character. Become an expert on their life. These leaders in the Bible are just like us. They make all the same mistakes we do. They have the same abilities and the exact same character faults. Now use the out line provided you on the next page to create a Bible study you can share with someone else. Take a separate piece of paper and answer the questions the outline ask you pertaining to the Bible leader you chose. Each answer should be a story. Be as detailed as possible. Be an expert on this person.
1.)We want to know their entire life story.
In the beginning who was their family and what where they like?
2.) Where were they from? How did they live?
3.) What was your character like prior to accepting God / Christ as their Savior / leader?
4.) What was the defining moment that made them change direction and started following God?
5.) What did they do for God?
6.) What troubles did they encounter because of their faith?
7.) Where did their faith take them?
8.) Did they write any books in the Bible.
9.) Did they perform any miracles?
10.) Give details on all their journeys. Draw a map showing where they went.
11.) How did people or their old friends react to the change in them? How did their family respond?
12.) Show us pictures of how you thought they dressed.
13.) Give us some recipes of food that they eat.
14.) Show us some pictures of where they lived back then and what it looks like now.
15.) If you were them how would you live their life different?
16.) It’s easy to see their mistakes and correct them because we are seeing the whole story, but what are some of the mistakes we have made that are similar to our characters? What mistakes are we making now? What would we do different if it was our life?
17.) Where and what do you think this person is doing right now in heaven?
As much as can be said about being an individual there is a lot of satisfaction in working with a group of people to accomplish a goal. Some of the greatest things every completed on this earth was done with a team of thousands. We need each other, we need to learn to work together because a team can always accomplish more than an individual. You need someone and someone will always need you. Someone to lean on for support. Someone to relate to. Someone to give to and rely on. “ Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mathew 11:30 We are not a whole by ourselves, we are a single part of a group of Christians who we work with for the better good of God.
In our culture everything has the letter “I” in it, but there isn’t any “I” in team. Everything we do should focus on the team’s goal and what the team is trying to accomplish. If a team is going to reach its potential each person must be willing to set their personal goals aside for the good of the team. We must be willing to sacrifice our role as a player and continually keep the vision of the team in focus.
Our goal is to take a group of individuals and form them into a top-notch Mission Team to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. To lead a Christian life and set the example for others to follow. To complete mission projects working together as a well oiled machine comparable to any NBA basketball or NFL football team.
We are going to drop our guard and develop a comfort level with each other to the point where we almost know what the other person is thinking. Teams that win are constantly asking themselves what is the best thing for the rest of the team. Only then can we come together and give up our personal agendas and reach to a higher level. People who think only of themselves are missing the big picture. There are just too many things in this life that are bigger than just one of us. That’s why we have to have a team mind-set and a willingness to serve others.
One of the first things we have to do is find out where we fit in with the team. Good things will always happen to a group of people when an individual will take their place where they add the most value. You have to take your place where your talent, skill and experience maximizes your strengths. Your team will not achieve it greatest potential if: A.) your only motivation is personal gain. B.) you let your own personal insecurities get the best of you. C.) You won’t be able to find your place if you do not know your own personal strengths and weaknesses. The one unity that we have is our faith in God. That is our common denominator. “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:22 Reach out to other members of the team and try to learn your Spiritual gifts together.
A strong ministry team requires practice at home as well as with the team. Daily personal Bible study and prayer is a requirement of all team members. To walk the walk of a missionary you have to be able to talk the talk. You cannot lead someone somewhere if you don’t know how to get there yourself. How can we possible give someone else directions if we are lost ourselves. Set aside 15 minutes a day. Study your Bible, take time to spend with God.
We have to be catalysts that sense an opportunity to share our faith. When we crank up our play to another level you will see your team mates respond in the same way. We have to be passionate about what we do. Part of being a catalyst is sharing the gift we received from God with others. We have to be creative in our thinking and disciplined in our actions. We have to take responsibility for making our goal happen. We have to be willing to give our time, money and be willing to sacrifice personal gain to carry our goal through. Winning teams have players who make things happen.******
We have to have a team vision. As a group of players we have to be going in the same direction. We will take our past experiences with kids in Christ and build on a positive future. We will plan our missions as a group and our purpose will be single-minded. We will set our goals high and we will create a strategy to reach our vision. Our plan will show what team members can truly become if they live out their Christian values and work according to high standards. Michelangelo prayed, “ Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”
Rotten attitudes ruin the whole team. Bickering, fighting and arguing back and forth destroys the continuity of any great team. A negative attitude hurts rather than helps the person who has it. Your attitude is a projection of who you are on the inside. An inability to admit you are wrong is a flaw in your character. A reluctance to forgive another person will eventual destroy your soul. Being jealous of another person will eat your heart out like a cancer. Most bad attitudes are a result of selfishness. A disease that will eventual destroy ever relationship you have and is the most destructive enemy of a team. The most important gauge of how good a job you did is how much better you made your teammates produce. So I am telling you right now to set aside your own agenda and put the team first. Let go of all the hatred you have inside because your attitude becomes the team attitude and teams with a bad attitude lose. Not only do they lose the game but they lose in life and they lose their relationship with Jesus Christ. bad attitudes are a result of selfishness. A disease that will eventual destroy ever relationship you have and is the most destructive enemy of a team. The most important gauge of how good a job you did is how much better you made your teammates produce. So I am telling you right now to set aside your own agenda and put the team first. Let go of all the hatred you have inside because your attitude becomes the team attitude and teams with a bad attitude lose. Not only do they lose the game but they lose in life and they lose their relationship with Jesus Christ. Teammates must be able to count on you at all times. There is nothing that hurts more than to let your team down when they count on you the most. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24
You have to trust your leader and you have to trust the other people around you. You have to be accountable to your teammates because we will accomplish our tasks together and we will share our success together along with our failures. We will act appropriately at all times and will expect the same from the other members. We will not lie to each other . We will depend on each other for the truth. We will do what we have promised to do and we will expect the other members to do the same. We will face tough times together and we will console those who are in need. We will set our standards high and work hard to develop our abilities. We will look out for each other. We will treat our team members as family and we will care for each other without expecting anything in return. Do these things and your teammates will have confidence in you and will know that they can count on you day in and day out.
Everything has a price. Developing a team takes a tremendous amount of hard work. You can’t watch you teammates work hard and think you can coast to your full potential. It won’t happen, you have to pay a price to win. No one can force you to have the will to succeed. You must decide in your own heart whether or not the goal you are trying to achieve is worth the price you have to pay. Nobody gives up at the beginning, they stop halfway and was all the price they have paid. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Mathew 13:45 Kids that give up on Christ will eventually give up on life.
To become a team player you will have to be willing to sacrifice because there is no success without sacrifice.Working together as a team does not come cheaply. It cost you time and that means you pay with your life. You have to continually strive to get better. When you give your best to God, He returns more to you that you have given. You will never reach your full potential if you do not keep God’s agenda ahead of yours. You can choose to stand on the sidelines all your life by watching television and playing video games all the time or you can choose to be a part of a team and accomplish great things through Jesus Christ. Every thing in this world will cost you something. The price for staying on the sidelines is failure and that is poverty, depression and rejection. You have to be willing to make sacrifices for God and your team. You have to be willing to keep growing for the sake of your sanity. You have to be willing to stand up and fight for what is right.
We measure the success of our team with souls reached for Christ. We reach these people through our own personal growth. That is the key to our success. If you want to get better, you have to repent , you have to change your behavior in the right direction. Making key adjustments to your personality is the secret to winning. I hear so many people say, “ That’s just the way I am.” Well that doesn’t have to be the case. You are accepting something that you have defined for yourself. If your were keeping score of your life, “ That’s just the way I am”, wouldn’t score you very many points. Growth in Christ equals change. There is the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you. He is there to mold you and to make you successful, but He can not form you unless you are willing to go along with the program that God created for your development. That program is Bible study and prayer. The Bible is where God speaks to you and prayer is where you speak to God. The Holy Spirit explains to you what the Bible says and He explains to God what we say to Him. Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:14 KJV
A great ministry team consist of three things. Starters are people who have been studying their Bible for a long time and have had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Bench players are those who are just coming to Christianity and are beginning to understand the basic concepts. Then there are the people who quietly toil in the background to make the starters and bench players jobs possible. Nobody can neglect this majority of any team and be successful. Do you know who is more important? The starters, the bench players or the background people. None of them because the integral working parts of a successful team require everybody working harmoniously to accomplish the goal. The whole team is by far greater than the sum of its parts. Every person on the team has value and when everyone excels in their role the team produces success. If you are on the bench it is you job to help the starters and to prepare yourself to become a starter in the future. You do this by demonstrating an attitude of service and by doing what ever you can to learn and grow.
Every one on this earth, as they grow up, look for a standard to live by. What you believe identifies who you are. Your values identifies you to other people. Who you are or what your values are attract you to other people with a similar mind-set. If your values are the same as your mission team then you are a more valuable player.
Martin Luther King Jr. said “ We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Communication is one of the most important tools a team can have. Very few mission teams can be successful if their players are unable to communicate to each other. If there is a problem or situation between you and another player it is your responsibility to heal any past disagreements because the power of a unified team is incredible. You should always be courteous and respectful to everyone you come into contact with because communication that is focused on giving rather than taking takes you and your mission team to a whole new playing level. Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:9