1. KNOW the Lord
I realize that I may be preaching to the choir here, but there’s a huge difference between knowing about God and knowing God. J.I. Packer’s famous book was “Knowing God”—not knowing about God.
Additionally, it’s not a matter of only initially knowing Him, but continually going deeper. I find it interesting that Paul (after perhaps walking with Jesus for 30-plus years) says in Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead.” Didn’t Paul already know Jesus? Of course he did, but I believe he’s expressing a desire to still go deeper with Jesus. One of my most motivating verses on this is Hosea 6:3 (NLT)
“Oh that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming rains in the early spring.”
For me this verse is both an encouragement and a challenge. One of the most important things on a leader’s job description is probably not on his/her job description which is to hear regularly from the Lord. We will want to be more like Mary and less like busy/distracted Martha (which, unfortunately, many leaders are). Taking time to sit quietly at His feet and say, “Speak, your servant is listening”
~ 1 Samuel 3:10 (NLT)
2. KNOW where you’re going.
What has God gifted you, called you to do? What is your purpose, your vision, your values which would motivate others to join you in the exciting venture on which He is leading you.
My experience has led me to believe that many leaders don’t have a strong sense of calling and vision. What problem, cause or issue out there might you be the answer to? What keeps you up at night saying to yourself that somebody should do something about this? Is that somebody YOU? If you don’t know where you’re going, you may wind up somewhere else and wonder how you got there. You will not have the passion you could have nor will people be excited to go with you on a long walk to nowhere.
God said to Moses, “Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about…”
~ Exodus 32:34
Knowing Him more deeply. Hearing from Him as you sit at His feet, as did Mary, sets the stage for you to be able to get a clear sense of direction in your leadership.
3. KNOW who should go with you
Fruitfulness and success as a Christian leader is a team sport. No one of us has all the gifts, all the ideas and all the energy to see His ideas birthed and fulfilled. We need to have others with us. I read quite a few business books. It’s seldom that a visionary leaders starts something and are successful all by themselves. In most cases there are one or two others alongside to get the enterprise started in the proverbial garage. This was true with Apple, with Amazon, with Microsoft and multiple other well-known businesses. In most successful church plants there’s a small team that starts the journey. It’s not healthy to have too much riding on one person.
In Exodus 18:13-27 we have the story of Moses trying to do it all by himself. His father-in-law had some good advice for him. What transpired in this classic chapter is several thousand years old but is as up-to-date, relevant and applicable as this week. A course at Harvard Business School could teach this and no student would think of it as not being useful.
Love to hear your feedback on what you, as a leader, need to KNOW!