Type the word “Leadership” into Amazon book search and at the time of this writing there are 69,845 books available about Leadership. Leadership is obviously a vital subject in all areas of life including ministry. It’s important to constantly be growing as a leader. Growing leaders are always in school.
That being said, it’s essential as we are “improving as leaders” that we keep the heart of God as the core of our leadership. In James 3, James is addressing those who want to teach and lead others. He shows us how to lead with the heart of God
“Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” James 3:13-18
We see in the these verses that Leadership that reflects the heart of God has…
Moral Goodness. It’s leading not just by words, but by conduct. It’s being known as a good person. It’s walking the talk.
Humility. Being teachable. Responsive to input and correction. Doesn’t think he’s arrived or knows it all. Leads from a servant’s heart. Is there to serve others instead of being served.
Right motives. Doesn’t have selfish ambitions. Seeks to build God’s kingdom not his own.
Integrity. Doesn’t twist the truth or take short-cuts that are questionable. Known as a person of character and honesty. Keeps his word. Is guided by principles instead of emotions.
Treats others well. Doesn’t run over people on the way to the “top.” Builds up others instead of himself. Puts others in the spotlight instead of wanting it himself.
Gets along with others. Leads by relationships.
Gentle. Is not harsh or overbearing. Is considerate of people’s feelings. Corrects and instructs in love.
Reasonable. Doesn’t make unreasonable demands or set unrealistic expectations.
Mercy. When faced with a decision, does the most caring thing. Gives people room to make mistakes and grow.
Consistent. Sets a steady pace and maintains it.
Direct communication – Handles conflict face-to-face. Doesn’t gossip. Doesn’t talk about people behind their back.
Treats everyone with dignity and honor. Sees how valuable people are and sees everyone as a “10.”
The result of leading with the heart of God is a healthy, growing children’s ministry. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of work to do in many of these areas. My prayer is I will lead with the heart of God. I know it is yours as well. Take some time and read back over the verses above. What is God speaking to you about?