The seriousness of the role of being 'line leader' came out Sunday night as we were celebrating my sister’s birthday. My great nephew and I made the cake and he decorated it.
As I leaned in as if I was going to help blow out ALL (sorry, sister, ha,ha,ha,ha) those candles and sing Happy Birthday, he leaned in front of me and looked me straight in the face and said, “I’m the line leader!” and proceeded to lead us in singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles. We all burst out laughing. It was too precious.
Observing him asking that question so often upon entering his classroom during the week has made me think about something God has given me a real heart for over the past years - healthy leadership in our churches and para-ministries.
May I share a couple of truths with you that are pretty common sense but good to be reminded of when it comes to healthy leadership:
- Healthy leadership is God-centered not people pleasing. When a leader is God-centered they trust God to take care of pleasing the people. They keep their eyes on God and move in a spirit of love.
- Healthy leadership is God-centered and not moved by circumstances. When a leader is God-centered they trust God to deal with the attacks against the plans He has instructed them in and do not take up an offense, become defensive, and/or blame others when questioned. They know Whom they have believed.
- Healthy leadership is God-centered and does not have a need to be in control. When a leader is God-centered they are a humble person that knows Who is in control. You will not sense a haughty spirit (pride) in someone who is trusting God. You will not see scheming, dishonesty, or manipulation at work.
- Healthy leadership is God-centered and does not intentionally bring harm to others in word or deed. When a leader is God-centered they desire spiritual growth in the lives of those they serve and serve with. They promote unity not ‘yes men’.
- Healthy leadership is God centered and does not hold grudges and un-forgiveness. When a leader is God-centered they understand the need for repentance and forgiveness and extend it to others.
The following cartoon is one I use in leadership training. It is a sure sign of dysfunctional ‘line-leaders and follow-ship. The reason being it promotes the proverbial “no talk rule”.
It really needs no words. But to stay with our topic of 'line leader,’ allow me to encourage you to never blindly follow a 'line leader'. It may lead you off a cliff spiritually. My 'line leader' is Jesus. He does not ask me to blindly follow Him. He asks me to step out in faith because He has made Himself known to me.
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." Proverbs 29:2 (KJV)
Please know that all of us are capable of being unhealthy ‘line leaders’ throughout any given day if we are not anchored to HIM.
May all of us who have been asked of God to serve in the capacity of ‘line leader’ of some form or fashion bow the knee and recognize that only by His Grace can we bring glory to Him in the journey He has called us to.
Love you all so much.