Activate: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
Elevate: Hey guys! I am excited about this month’s blog as we dive into talking about leadership! A lot of people have a lot of opinions on leadership and what it should look like, and that’s fine. What I want to do though, is set apart all of our opinions and see what the word of God says about it! In John 13, Jesus had just told the disciples that one of them would betray him (cough cough Judas)! He then mentions that He is going somewhere that his disciples can not and adds this commandment: love another.
Now, I know you’re thinking: “Dev! I thought this was about leadership, what are you talking about?” Bare with me. I believe that Jesus was always intentional with his conversation. He knew that if he left, more leadership would have to step up. Jesus also knew the best way to lead was through love. Read through the Gospels and you’ll soon realize how many times Jesus was moved with compassion for the people. Once we can agree that Jesus was all about leading and loving people at the same time, we can move forward to look at Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13, aka “The Love Chapter.”
In this chapter, Paul breaks down what love is, or as I like to look at it, he breaks down what leadership looks like. I wanted to pull out 3 points that I think are absolutes if you’re going to be an effective leader.
- Leadership is patient and kind. In a world full of brash and arrogant leadership, God is asking for something different. Imagine if you had a boss who was constantly rude to you, or constantly pushing up deadlines on projects you’re working on. You would quickly begin to look for another job. In the midst of working hard, and getting things done, don’t forget to stop and love on your people. Whether that’s your family, students, coworkers, or friends. No one wants to be under impatient, rude leadership. How are you with the people under your influence? Do they know you value them for more than what they can provide for you? Do they know that you care for them?
- Leadership does not rejoice in wrong, but rejoices in the truth. You can not take shortcuts. Leadership must be full of integrity. This goes two ways. First, you must have the character within yourself to follow through on your commitments. You can not cut corners, lie, and cheat and be a leader worth looking up to. Secondly, you can’t avoid having the tough conversations with people who have no integrity. I remember countless times being talked to by a boss, pastor or mentor about following through on my commitments. Now, we want to present truth in love, but if we never want to have the confrontation with those in our leadership circle, we will cripple them and they will live in injustice, instead of walking in the truth that can set them free.
- Leadership never ends. You can not turn off leadership. This is the hardest thing for me! Sometimes, I don’t want to lead. I want to just go somewhere and not be needed. I just want to sit in front of my TV all day and not do anything. But leadership is not a light switch that you can flip on or off at your convenience! Leaders are always needed everywhere you go. Look for opportunities to lead, instead of opportunities to do as little as possible. Not only that, but when you come against hard times in life, it’s not time to hang up your leadership. That’s the time to develop it. Through trials is how we grow and come out on the other side more mature.
At this point in our nation, more than ever we need Godly leadership. Not the kind of leadership that says “do it my way because I said so” but the kind of leadership that is patient, kind, rejoices in truth, and never quits. Through this type of leadership, we will see God move mightily through His people to change a nation, just like He did time and time again throughout history and the Bible!
Cultivate: Of these 3 points, which one spoke to you the most? Which one could you work on? Are you impatient or rude, maybe you’ve been cutting corners at school or at work? What about your perseverance? Do you look for the easy way out or do you fight through and deliver on your commitments? Write down some practical steps you can take to improve your leadership and love for His people!