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I don’t normally pick a word of the year. I’ve always felt the Lord calling me to a specific prayer for the year instead, but if there was one word that has thus far themed my 2015, it’s leadership.
With all the changes happening behind the scenes at MOB (becoming a nonprofit, hiring a new staff of people to help us make this community what God wants it to be, etc), it became quite (painfully) clear to me that my leadership skills needed some TLC. I felt God—feel God—prompting me to study the qualities of leadership, and so I’ve been reading every book I can get my hands on that will help me learn more about what true, Biblical leadership looks like.
One of my favorite quotes so far on this topic is from a book that isn’t even faith-based. It’s a training manual for the network marketing company my husband and I work with, and I don’t know who wrote it! But it’s made an impression on me nonetheless. It says:
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
Let’s unpack that a bit, shall we?
1. Do what you believe in.
Last week, we spent time praying for our sons to be men of purpose, with clear vision and direction from the Lord, staying on a path that has Him as the end result. As new opportunities come our way, my family is constantly asking, “how does this serve our greater mission? Does this fit with what God has called us to do? How will it get us closer to the vision we feel God has given us for our lives?” It helps us know what to say “no” to, and creates a training ground for our boys as they figure out God’s call for their own lives.
2. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
One thing a leader needs to be good at is telling the story. Where is your company/family/ministry/relationship going? Can you see a clear picture of what you’re working towards? If not, ask the Lord to make it clear to you. If so, just go there. Make calculated, purposeful steps each day that will get you closer to where you’re going, and work to keep your picture of the future always before you…always before those you’re leading. Everyone feels more secure when they know where they’re going.
This doesn’t mean you have to have all the details all the time. Many times throughout scripture God asked someone to go without telling them where. At its most basic level, working toward the future God has called you to simply means purposing to walk in obedience to him, no matter where that obedience takes you.
3. People will follow.
Do you know why people follow the leader? It’s not because they’re so far advanced in their life, or because they have so much more experience, or even because they’ve finished well and have much to show for it. It’s because the leader is at least one step ahead of where they currently are. When I lead my team well…when I lead my boys well by staying true to the vision God has given me for our lives and doing what I believe in, they’ll follow. I’ve seen it over and over again. As my boys have grown and matured, I’ve gone from a “do they ever hear anything I say??!” mentality, to a deep knowing that they are indeed hearing me. I know it, because I’m watching them make choices in alignment with their faith and what their father and I have tried so hard to teach them. It’s not perfect (they’re only almost 8 and 10), but seeing God move in their lives now gives me faith that he’ll continue to do so in the future (<—tweet that!).
What do all these things have in common?
Service. The mindset of a true leader must be one of service. Whether it be service to God, service to the vision God has given, or service to the people God has placed around him, the leader must be service-minded or he’ll eventually fail.
So let’s take time this week of pray for our sons to be leaders who serve God’s greater call, and the people that go with it.
4 Verses to Pray to Help Your Son be a Servant Leader
1. Lord, may they be strengthened, motivated, and lead by the knowledge of your grace.
“May (your son’s name) be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus…” (2 Timothy 2:1).
2. Lord, may they fear you and serve you only, putting away all other gods.
“May (your son’s name) fear the lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness, putting away the gods that their fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the lord” (Joshua 24:14).
3. Lord, may they use the freedom you’ve given them in Christ to serve others without reservation.
“May (your son’s name) know that he was called to freedom, and not use his freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve others” Galatians 5:13.
4. Lord, may they share all that you teach them with others, helping them be strengthened in the faith.
“…and what (your son’s name) has heard , may he entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also…” 2 Timothy 2:2.
This week, add these verses to your prayer time each day. If your family doesn’t really have a vision for what God has called you to do together, take the time to pray and listen for his direction. It will change everything!
Resources to Help You Pray
ON SALE TODAY–>> How to Control Your Emotions So They Don’t Control You (every leader needs to know how to manage their own emotions, and managing yours will help you teach your son to manage his). Use the code “leadwell” at checkout to get a $1 discount on this biblical, highly practical ebook. Sale on PDF version only through midnight EST 5/7/15.
Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because she believes in the God who loves them more than she does.