This is part 2 of “ Five things I’m praying for leaders.” If you haven’t yet read part 1 do so by clicking here

3.  Integrity

As my wife Susan and I watch what’s going on in the political world, I find myself often saying, “Someone is lying but I just don’t know who it is.” We live in a culture of lies and deceit.  As Christian leaders let’s say what we mean, mean what we say, but not be mean. I’m trying to under promise and over deliver rather than over promise and under deliver. Join me in not exaggerating or embellishing the truth to make yourself feel or look important, but rather state it plainly and honestly.  

Be good for your word. Lack of integrity leads to loss of credibility, which leads to loss of trust, which leads to loss of leadership. The worst thing a leader can hear is: “I don’t trust you.” If you tell somebody you’re going to call them next week, then call them next week or else don’t say it. If you tell somebody you’ll have what they’ve asked for by Tuesday, then have it by Tuesday or else don’t tell them you will. If something comes up unexpectedly which prevents you from doing or delivering as promised, then communicate that. Building trust as a leader takes time, but it can be destroyed in five minutes through careless words and/or empty promises.

4.  Contentment

Contentment doesn’t mean complacency.  I pray regularly for myself that I would learn how to be content with who I am, where I am, what I’m doing and what He’s doing. Biblical contentment and godly ambition are friends, not enemies. Paul speaks of learning how to be content in Philippians 4:11.  You can be very content and very ambitious at the same time. The Bible doesn’t speak against ambition, but rather affirms it in I Timothy 3:1. But it does speak against selfish ambition in James 3:14. Serve God where you are and with what you have because you can’t serve him where you aren’t and with what you don’t have. There is a great Book Note on  “Rescuing Ambition,” by Dave Harvey. Check it out at

Be very careful of greed (Hebrews 13:5) and of falling into the trap of pursuing more, bigger, better and best for all the wrong reasons; bringing honor and glory to yourself instead of Him. Be very careful trying to gain a sense of self-worth by comparing with others, thinking that if you just had this or that or lived and worked there instead of here you’d be more joyful. It just ain’t true! You can be perfectly content where you are as you wait for the Spirit of God to do what only He can do and lead as only He can lead.

5.  Balance

Most of the leaders I coach are, admittedly, out of balance with too much time and energy invested in work and ministry and far too little invested in family and taking care of themselves. I hear over and over: “I am so overworked and so overwhelmed.”

I feel that many leaders have an unbiblical and unhealthy theology of both work and Sabbath. Many of us don’t know how to rest and relax.  I believe that, in many cases, we attempt to get our sense of value, worth and joy through our work and not through our relationship with Jesus. Try this on for size. If you work 60 hours a week and sleep 8 hours a night, you still have 52 hours every week to invest in yourself and your family.  By His grace be proactive not reactive in how you invest those 52 hours.

Ministry and/or work can be like the crabgrass in the lawn of life. If you don’t pay attention you will soon have no lawn; you will soon have no life and could be heading down a very dangerous road of burnout where you will meet other leaders who made some bad choices. It’s not too late to turn things around, with His grace and power.

I am praying more and more for leaders, and for myself as well, that we would all:

1.  Be men/women of genuine humility

2.  Live with sexual and motivational purity

3.  Serve with the utmost integrity as we live out the gospel in the midst of a lying and deceitful culture

4.  More and more learn what biblical contentment looks like

5.  Have increased wisdom in how to allocate our time and energy so that our families don’t get the leftovers