14 Things Leaders Tend to Forget

14 Things Leaders Tend to Forget

My experience is that even the best leaders tend to be forgetful at times. Usually, though, we talk about forgetting appointments or assignments or commitments—not so much these simple realities that many leaders I know (including me) forget too readily:

1. God didn’t call me to lead because I’m such a good leader. He called me to lead because He wants His glory to fill the lands. It’s about Him, not about me. Period.

2. Were it not for the people who graciously follow me, I would not be a leader. I get to do what I do because of kind, serving, faithful people who walk with me.

3. My job is to point away from myself. I’m to point to others, and then ultimately to Him. If I point only to myself, I’m an idol rather than a leader.

4. I must raise up others to do greater things than I’ll ever do. If I wrap my ministry around myself, or if I get jealous when others do more than I, I’m not a good leader.

5. God doesn’t need me. If I don’t believe that, He’ll teach me otherwise. I desperately need Him—it’s not the other way around.

6. God knows everything I do, think or say. That is, I’m not getting away with anything. Nothing’s hidden from the One who matters most.

7. Most of the people in the world have never heard of me. No matter how popular or famous I think I may be, billions and billions of people don’t know I exist. And, even if they heard of me, they wouldn’t be impressed.

8. There are better speakers than I in the world. Actually, there are better speakers in my community. Perhaps in my church. Maybe even in my family. I’m never as good as I think I am.

9. I’m a poor leader if I don’t love my spouse and family well. In fact, I might even disqualify myself for ministry if I’m a bad spouse and parent.

10. My church will do no more evangelism than I do. The evidence may be anecdotal, but it’s recurrent: Non-evangelistic leaders lead their church to do nothing evangelistically.

11. I can fool a lot of people, but not everybody. Somebody will see through any charades I play.

12. It’s not my church…or my class…or my praise team…or my position. I don’t own anything I lead. God can take it all away in a heartbeat.

13. I’m a bad witness if I don’t take care of myself physically. Even my deepest spirituality is hindered when I lack discipline to care for the body God gave me.

14. Jesus’ return is always near. If I really believed that biblical truth, I would live with more urgency.

What else would you add to this list? Which characteristic in this list describes you?  

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Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.