Strong Leadership Develops From Personal Wilderness

Personal wilderness
If you're stuck in a personal wilderness, don't despair. You can build strong leadership skills while there. (Flickr)

It's not unusual to hear someone respond to a question with that penetrating phrase ...


The recitation is usually accompanied by a rather defiant folding of the arms. I've been blessed to hear this response during a few altar calls through the years. But that's another story.

As leaders, teachers and pastors, we should be guided by a similar two-word phrase. The phrase is full of hope, grace and purpose. The phrase also reminds us to passionately seek spiritual growth.

Consider this verse:

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).

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Peter takes us deeper into the message in verse 12:

"Live your lives honorably among the Gentiles so that ... they shall see your good works and thereby glorify God in the day of visitation" (1 Pet. 2:12).

The Holy Spirit leads us from a life filled with SO WHAT to a servant's cry of SO THAT. Take a moment and re-read the two verses with emphasis placed on the words, so that. If the words are intriguing to you, a word study will reveal several hundred uses and applications of the phrase.

Certainly, "so that" is a Christian process. The grace given to me to become more like Him is filled with the mission that I might serve the kingdom.  

For leaders, I believe this phrase becomes a strong marching order. We are led through many trials and storms, good days and bad, full of faith and lacking too ... SO THAT we might become effective leaders. My experiences are not really about me. Every moment of training is SO THAT I may proclaim, AHA! ... and be transformed. 

Leaders distill their moments into various manifestations of character and competency. The Apostle Paul's SO THAT is evident in his sermons, letters and inspired writing. Paul's life is an example of "to whom much is given ... " SO THAT. The best pastors I know have emerged from their personal wilderness with an enlarged need and capacity to lead with purpose.

Leading is never selfish. The essence of our influence is our great desire to help others learn less painfully, what we have learned though great trials.  

We lead so that others may lead.

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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