For the first part of this article, visit charismaleader.com.
Leadership is about commitment. God has called us as spiritual leaders to make unique commitments in how we lead others.
Six times in the New Testament, the Bible says to "make every effort." I think we'd all agree that if the Bible tells us to make every effort to do something, we should commit to that. These verses represent vows that spiritual leaders need to make in order to become the kind of leader God calls us to be.
Here are the first three vows every Christian leader should make:
—As a leader, I vow to maintain my integrity.
—As a leader, I vow to forgive those who hurt me.
—As a leader, I vow to relax and trust God.
Here are the remaining three vows every Christian leader should make.
- As a leader, I vow to be an encourager. "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification"(Rom. 14:19, NIV). The word "edification" means to build up. To be a leader, you must decide to build up people, not tear them down.
How can you do that? Regularly praise the people you're leading. Focus on what they're doing that is positive, including their potential to grow and improve. Every human being is a mix of problems and potential. People often live up to the expectations placed on them.
Most importantly, listen to the people you lead. When you're listening, you're loving. Listening tells people they matter and you value them.
Christian leaders are dispensers of hope. If you're enthusiastic and hopeful, you'll encourage those you lead.
- As a leader, I vow to be a peacemaker. "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). Leaders should work toward reducing conflict in their places of influence—and certainly should not add to it. Our world has plenty of conflict already.
This means refusing to participate in gossip and challenging it when you hear it. No one likes to be called out for gossip, but addressing gossip for what it is will help to shut it down.
Another way to be a peacemaker is to encourage diversity. Don't force those you lead to be like you. Everyone has a different personality and different strengths. A peacemaking leader seeks unity, not uniformity.
- As a leader, I vow to never stop growing. "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:5-8).
Learning is the lifestyle of leadership. Growing ministries require growing leaders. One of the best ways to keep growing as a leader is to meet new people. The best ideas you'll have for your ministry will come from people who know nothing about it. Creativity is the ability to take ideas from many diverse sources and see how they relate to what you're doing.
Additionally, be open to feedback. That's one of the reasons at Saddleback we encourage people to fill out comment cards. I want to hear what's going well in our worship services and what isn't.
These commitments will change your ministry. You are a product of the commitments you make.
Will you make these six vows?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America's largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. Pastor Rick started The PEACE Plan to show the local church how God works through ordinary people to address the five global giants of spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy. You can listen to Daily Hope, Pastor Rick's daily 25-minute audio teaching, or sign up for his free daily devotionals at PastorRick.com. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global online community created to encourage pastors.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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