Last weekend I did a question and answer session for our Celebration life coaching group on the subject of leadership and we had a great time together -- such a fruitful time that I thought I'd share some of the questions/answers on the blog this week. This will be a series, and...here we go...
Does a leader need to be motivated? How can leaders maintain themselves to stay motivated?
Motivation is very important and some of that is usually provided by the leader of a team if you are one of many leaders on a team and are not the team leader yourself, but all of it can’t come from there. In fact in my experience it’s a small percentage.
Motivation really comes down to inspiration. Since motivation comes from within, it is a form of self-inspiration. There are sometimes long periods of time in between times that I receive motivation or inspiration from others. This is why it’s very important for me to put myself in position to receive motivation from the Lord.
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” I Samuel 30:6 [Emphasis mine]
As a leader it's vitally important for me to stay in tune with God – inspired by the Word and by what God tells me, and think the right thoughts and talk to myself.
If my motivation came from other people I would have quit a long time ago.
Question: When you are in a leadership position you have to set good example in the decisions that you make. When you are faced with a difficult decision/ situation how do you keep from losing your mind or even feeling overwhelmed and wondering if you are doing the right thing or not ?
Well first of all, it helps to recognize that I am always learning as a leader. I don’t hesitate to tell people that. There are times I’ve made mistakes and I have made the wrong decision. No leader makes the right decision 100% of the time. I was reading a book by a well intentioned Christian author years ago when we started out as lead pastors. The book was advising pastors on how to handle things like altar calls and the gifts of the spirit. It basically indicated that if the pastor makes a mistake during that time and doesn’t move in the right direction they are in danger of the fires of hell or at the very least that they will answer for every little move they make in a service and whether it was the right one. That pretty much paralyzed me as a leader. When anything happened in the service, like the moving of the gifts, or an altar time, I was in fear to make a move, as if the church was on the edge of a cliff and if I didn't make the right decision as to what to do next it was all over, and I would be responsible. The book used language like, "Pastors, if you make a wrong move during that critical time, the dove will fly, and never return to your church again! And YOU are responsible!!!" Whew! That's a LOT of pressure. After a season of prayer about this, God spoke to me that what I had read wasn’t entirely true. Yes, we do need to be sensitive always to the Holy Spirit, but God is most concerned with the heart of a leader. Psalm 51 says, “Create in me a clean heart oh God!” A pure heart…
My heart was in the right place just wanting to please the Lord and lead the people and the church in the right direction. Could I sometimes handle an altar call, or really anything in a better way? Sure. God is not going to strike me to hell because I take the altar call in a certain way, as I am learning how to lead his people (which is a life long process). All He is concerned about is that I am surrendered to Him and listening to His voice and trying my best to be obedient. There are times I think I hear Him and I don’t. No leader is on the mark 100% of the time. If they tell you they are they are kidding themselves and seriously need a wake up call.
A lot of my fears on this issue are quelled by the fact that I give myself permission to be wrong, to fail, and realize I will be in school the rest of my life.
What does the Lord require of a leader, or of any of us?
Micah 6:8 says, “O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
This is my goal as a Christian and as a leader.
I have made a lot of great decisions. I’ve also made some bad ones. I’ve learned in the process and am committed to keep a pure heart, stay surrendered to God and trust Him that He will work even through the times when I don't get it right.