As a leader, do you ever stop to think back over your life to those most profound life-changing lessons you have learned? I was once asked to speak on the topic, Top 10 Tips for Leaders. I began processing the things I felt were most important. The list eventually grew beyond 10 and became a chapter in our revised edition of the women’s ministry leadership book, Women Reaching Women.
But the lessons have not stopped there! They continue daily. Right now, God has asked me to pray daily for Him to “break my heart for what breaks His” as the song says. And especially to pray for a heart for evangelism. I am not sure right now what He is going to teach me this year as I pursue that, but I am alert and watching!
This will be the first in a series for a new category, Life Lessons for Leaders. My prayer is that these lessons will help you as you lead women, and that you will begin to think about your own lessons and how to use those in ministry.
Before I actually begin with lesson one, let’s think about what it takes to lead well. Our own spiritual development is absolutely foundational to our leadership, and its effectiveness. Sometimes I need to just ask myself a few questions, such as…Am I spending time in the Word daily? (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 4:12) Am I submitting to God’s authority? (Psalm 143:8) Am I bathing everything in prayer? (Eph 6:18) Am I becoming more like Him daily?(1 Peter 2:2-3, 2 Thessalonians 1:3) My answers to these questions tell me the importance I put into my walk, especially as I lead other women.
Next I need to make sure I have a battle plan. I must understand God and His power, and recognize and understand who the enemy is and what He desires to do as I follow Christ all while leading others to do the same. Here are some great scriptures to study in preparation for ministry: 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22, Ephesians 6:11,14. Any leader who thinks she is immune to falling is a prime target for Satan. Just study Beth Moore’s When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. She shares examples of leaders who never planned to fall but found themselves at the bottom of a filthy pit. Our influence as leaders can do so much to help OR harm the work of Christ. We must be prepared and aware of our foe and examine each thought, use our Sword, flee the enemy, and ask God’s help as we put on His armor.
Temptation begins in the mind so guard it carefully (Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 4:8-9). I love Rick Warren’s quote from The Purpose Driven Life, “Every temptation is an opportunity to do good. On the path to spiritual maturity, even temptation becomes a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block when you realize it’s just as much an occasion to do the right thing as to do the wrong thing. God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing circumstances in which you are tempted to express the exact opposite quality. Character development always involves a choice. And temptation provides that opportunity.”
So, choose to pursue holiness as you lead women to pursue holiness. Be set apart and transparent with our own struggles, yet proclaim God’s faithfulness. We must be consecrated. (1 Peter 1:13-16, 2 Timothy 2:21).
Now, as we gear up, put on the armor and watch for God’s work in our lives, the next post in this series will talk about what God has taught me NOT to do in ministry!
Please share your life lessons with us so we can learn from you!