Matthew Henry met a young, wealthy lady of the nobility in London and they fell in love. She went to her father and sought his permission to marry him. “He’s got no background. You don’t know where he’s from,” her father said. To which the young lady replied, “Yes, I don’t, but I know where he’s going and I want to go with him.”
Leadership is a strong attribute. Chemers M in his book ‘An Integrative Theory of Leadership’ described it as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Yes, leadership is influence, and influence is a function of trust.
Think about it. You can only gain the cooperation of others or inspire them to achieve particular goals if they trust you. And people will only trust you to the extent that they believe in your integrity and competence. It is this trust deficit that has made leadership, or the lack of it, a growing challenge in recent times. This is why your role in the world today is crucial. You have something that puts you in good stead for leadership. You have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Jesus is the greatest phenomenon of leadership the world has ever witnessed. Millions across the world implicitly trust Him with their lives. You know why? The sincerity of His intentions is not in doubt, and His capacity to deliver on His promises remains unparalleled. At the base of Jesus’ capacity to build trust through integrity and competence is the Holy Spirit. In John 14:10, He said, “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” Jesus shares this capacity for leadership with us even as He has given us the Holy Spirit.
The truth is, you need the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to meet the demand of leadership in today’s world. If Jesus could not lead without them, then why would you want to? Now let us see how the Word of God and the Holy Spirit affect our capacity for leadership.
To allow the Word of God to take root in our hearts, and make a commitment to obey its every instruction, is to live a life of unimpeachable integrity. This integrity will earn us trust with our wives, children, friends, siblings, partners, colleagues and every person we have the privilege of interacting with; it will enhance our influence and sharpen our leadership.
One of the key features of Jesus’ leadership on earth was His capacity to solve problems through the Holy Spirit. The influence of leadership will be blunted if those under its influence cannot trust its competence. How unfortunate it is then that many ignore the immeasurable capacity for problem-solving that is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
History easily reveals the debt modern civilization owes to Christianity. From the foundations of modern science, as laid by devout Christians like Copernicus, Galileo, Michael Faraday, Isaac Newton, etc, to the protestant reformation and the building of industrialized nations, everywhere the Christian faith birthed, innovation sprouted. Why? Because, in the words of R.G Letourneau, that great inventor of earthmoving machines, “No one has ever measured the inventiveness that Christ awakens in a man’s soul because it is beyond measurement.” The Holy Spirit works out in us a wellspring of creativity. We can tap into this latent power by consciously acknowledging Him in all our dealings and trusting Him to lead us.
There might be several areas in our lives where our actions, inactions or speech have corroded trust. Maybe with our wives and/or children, with our colleagues, subordinates and/or bosses; with our business partners or public life generally. But the truth is, whatever measure of trust you have lost can be rebuilt. And whatever measure of trust you currently have can be increased as you apply yourself to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, developing integrity, building competence and earning trust. I believe the best of you is yet to come. God has preserved a remnant – a generation of leaders who will stand the test of integrity and competence in every sphere of life. Go out this month knowing that you have been called to leadership and that you have in Christ all it takes to lead effectively in these contemporary and complex times. Arise! The world needs you.
November is our month of unusual harvest. And our theme scripture is Leviticus 26:9-10. Take it to heart. Prepare for a season of abundant harvest. The Lord will not disappoint you, in Jesus name! I look forward to reading your testimonies as they roll in. If you require counselling or want us to agree with you in prayers, do send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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