God Calls on All of Us to Lead
When we turn to scripture, we find numerous examples of God calling persons into leadership roles. The roles range from individuals involved in one-on-one ministry to specific situations to leading the masses. Ultimately, God calls all of us to lead. In the Maxwell Leadership Bible, John Maxwell references Genesis 1:26-31 as evidence that we are all born to lead. He highlights several points based on this scripture:
- Being made in God’s image means we were created to lead.
- God commanded both male and female to have dominion, so leadership is not gender specific.
- God created everything for a purpose, so all of us are to serve one another in our areas of gifts.
- Leadership is best exercised in your area of giftedness.
We are, all male and female, called to use our gifts to lead others so all may know the love of Jesus Christ. As a leader, this call often feels very challenging and demanding, leaving me feeling like I don’t have all the answers or knowledge to do the work.
I subscribe to the weekly email from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership throughout the year. Besides sharing articles on leading ideas, podcast links, and resources in each newsletter, a section is devoted to “The Right Question,” which has the byline: “Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.” This section is my favorite part, and I read it each week. It is a great reminder that, as a leader, it isn’t about having all the answers. It is about asking the right questions with the people you are in ministry with. Being a leader is about wrestling with these questions over time as you determine the fruitfulness of a ministry. Sometimes the questions cause you to dig deep to determine if a ministry or opportunity supports the mission and vision of the church. Questions that facilitate better communication can improve interactions among leaders. Some questions may lead to reflection on how well the leader is leading. Ultimately some questions will lead you to explore big God-size dreams for ministry.
In the local church, January brings a time of new leaders merging with existing leadership within the church’s life. I invite existing leaders to encourage new and younger leaders to share their voices and explore some of the right questions that can be asked of ministry leaders. I invite existing leaders to always look for the next leader to raise. I invite existing leaders to wrap meetings in prayer, remembering God is at the center of our work. I encourage new leaders to have the courage to try something new or different and to actively engage in the ministry work. I encourage new leaders to be willing to ask the right questions and then wrestle with the questions. Finally, I pray that all leaders be willing to serve one another and use their gifts for the greater good.
And for all ministry leaders, time should be given for prayer and discernment before making ministry decisions to ensure that decisions are grounded in God, not us. As you lead in your ministry area, consider how you will strive for conversations that promote listening to one another and respect for differing opinions.
Remember to celebrate the fruitfulness of ministry and share the stories of how ministries impact people’s lives. We have been given a great call that demands a great response!