Healthy Leadership, Gospel Advancement,
and Sacred Purpose
As we head into the third week of the new year, let's explore the last three ideas of this series. Everyday provides a new opportunity to seek truth and live it out. As you read, examine the daily rythms of your life and be open to what the Lord might say.
- Healthy Leadership: How does one steward, cultivate and maximize their influence for God’s glory?
If history proves anything, it’s that time and again, so much will rise and fall on healthy leadership…or the lack thereof. As with every other question we have covered in this series, libraries could be filled with books addressing each topic, especially leadership. For now, I would like to offer a short list of my favorite leadership books from fifteen years of studying the topic:
- Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
- Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
- See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar
- The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner
- Linchpin by Seth Godin
- The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
- Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders
- Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard
Like the other recommendations, these are not for the faint of heart. But if you’re willing to jump into the deep end of the pool, I can promise that you will not regret engaging these works.
- Gospel Advancement: How should disciples pursue the mission of Jesus?
Those who follow Jesus share Jesus, plain and simple. Let me stress this another way; miracles are just too amazing to keep to yourself. And the miracle of being made alive in Christ Jesus should be at the top of our list to broadcast for all to hear. Paul expresses in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 the ultimate desire of his life and vividly describes his pursuit of the mission of Jesus:
Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (The Message)
- Sacred Purpose: How do Christ followers live each day focusing on life’s ultimate purpose?
Purpose is at the heart of life’s journey. And someone who follows Jesus lives a life that is enraptured with purpose. Purpose is the narrowing in and fulfillment of a specific task, role, project, and the list could go on and on, all for the glory of God. In short, it is doing what God has placed you on this earth to do. In his modern-day classic, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren sums it up this way:
You were born by His purpose and for His purpose (p. 17).
So let’s decide these things now:
- To be a people who live set apart for the Gospel of God
- To engage our culture and country by representing our ultimate citizenship which is in heaven
- To cultivate and steward our influence at the feet of Jesus
- To advance the name of Jesus to that others may be saved
- To live everyday with a desire to fulfill the purposes of God through our lives.
I can’t promise that 2018 will bring fewer tragic headlines, or a decrease in natural disasters. However, I can promise that if we seek to be salt and light by carefully adhering to the ideas outlined in this series, then the turn of another year will not be characterized by fatigue; instead, it will be marked by a peace that can only come from trusting in God’s sovereignty and experiencing Christ’s sufficiency, a peace that is the fruit of a life that has been obedient to the faith.