Those who know me well know that I like to keep things simple—both in life and in leadership. Life can be complicated as it is and I don’t want to add to it. I love to take seemingly complicated, complex issues and try to make them simple for leaders to understand and apply.
Recently I spent some time with a leader dealing with some significant issues in their church. I shared that I believe when it comes to identifying, developing and deploying leaders, two things are basic, primary and essential as well as simple to understand and begin to implement.
- Communion with the Son of God
- Communion with the people of God
Allow me to simply and briefly unpack each of these.
Communion with the Son of God
The Christian life in general, and the life of a leader in particular, is all about relationships. The longer I live and lead the clearer this is becoming to me. Yes, we need to lead, to accomplish things, to get the ball in the net, to achieve goals, but all this needs to flow out of my relationship with Jesus—the vine and branches of John 15.
I don’t think leaders will last and finish well if they don’t practice a personal set of spiritual disciplines (habits of the heart) which deepen their communion with Jesus.
This necessitates carving out times of quietness and solitude around Scripture and prayer—not to prepare for others, but to feed our own souls in our loving and intimate walk with the Savior. I believe Christian leaders need to identify and consistently practice some “disciplines” which draw them ever deeper in this primary and most important relationship of all.
As a Christian, I was taught early to spend consistent quality time in my Bible and in prayer. My nose in “The Book” and my knees on the floor as it were. He has helped me remain faith for 63 years. I’m very grateful for this.
Recently I came across and memorized Psalm 46:10 in The Message:
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
Do you at times feel, like I do, that the traffic of life has you moving at an unsustainable pace—a pace which allows little to no time to to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus like Mary did, instead of rushing about getting things done as Martha was rebuked for doing?
Someone said that it’s getting so bad that we’re paying someone else to smell the roses for us!
Community with the People of God
Every leader should have a few people they do life with. You can be in a “Community Group” yet not experience true community. It can be fellowship around shared activities, even Bible study, but not become deep friendships which nourish and protect us. We need both Nathans and Jonathans in our lives which both encourage and challenge us in our walk with Jesus and in the work He wants to do through us.
We need people speaking into our lives and them allowing us to speak into their lives. I have three friends with whom I regularly meet where we experience the “Iron Sharpens Iron” of Proverbs 27:17. I also have a group of four men that I connect with monthly in my home to experience the same thing.
My wife Susan help enormously in this, but I also need a few guys.
Following is a line from the Alan Jackson song “The Older I Get”
“The older I get the fewer friends I have, but you don’t need a lot when the ones that you’ve got have always got your back.”
Who are your true friends, who know you deeply, love you and have your back come what may?”
I’ve observed that when leaders fall, disqualifying themselves, often you will find one or both of these missing.
How are you honestly doing with communion and community?