Being a leader? What does that even mean?
Over the last year or so I believe God has been shifting and growing my perspective of leadership. Leadership not only in ministry and in the work place, but also, leadership within my own home.
You see for a very long time I thought that there were two different types of leaders. Leaders who were out front taking charge, you know the ones. The ones who always seem to have all the information and all the answers and direction. And then there were the more background style leaders. The leaders who make sure that no one gets left behind. This leader was perfectly described in a meme that went around a few years back that showed the formation of wolves and that the older and baby wolves were up front and set the pace and then the protectors and so on and so forth and then at the end of the pack were the Alpha leaders making sure everyone was protected and no one was left behind.
Those two styles were how I viewed good leaders. One was not better than the other, it was just that they each had their own redeeming qualities, if you will.
I read a statement recently that said, “Great leaders lead from the inside out.” And it challenged my view of leadership.
I feel like I hear the statement, "You can’t lead on empty," so much that it has almost become cliché. I hear it and I automatically agree with it, but in my mind I just go, "Yeah yeah I’m good though. No problems here. All is good in this neighborhood. (Insert winky face and two thumbs up.)" When, in reality, I’m just simply keeping everything from crumbling down.
Sometimes I don’t even realize it. I’m too close to see the damage that I have done as a leader due to me leaking my junk on those around me.
Faith does not deny a problem's existence, faith denies the problem a place of influence.
You see, being a leader has nothing to do with having our ducks all in a row or having the right answers and directions all the time. That is just unrealistic.
Even Jesus did not have all the answers to the demands of the people himself and he was fully God and fully man. He said in John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He only does what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does."
Jesus only took his cues from God.
When we look at Jesus, even most non-christians can agree that Jesus had some definite leadership qualities. Jesus led all kinds of people and he led well.
All throughout the gospels we see people following Jesus, even when he was trying to withdraw to his core group of people. I don’t know how many times I have read the phrase "they withdrew by themselves to a town… but the crowds learned and followed…" or something along those lines.
And still Jesus waited for his cues from the Father.
Even Jesus was not controlled by the demand of the people only by response to the Father.
Jesus knew the importance of not “leading on empty” better than anyone in the world. But what was it about Jesus that drew people in? That made him a Great leader in every season of his life? (Other than the obvious answer of Him being the Son of God…)
The Lord has been showing me that becoming a great leader is not linked to an experience or calling, rather it’s linked to the overflow we create around us. It’s linked to what we are leaking.
We leak on those we come into contact with… Good or bad.
We have to live a life filled with the Spirit of God in order to lead others into having that experience with the Father. A true right relationship with God.
It is not enough to lead having only had the corporate experience with God. We must first have that closed room, personal time with Jesus and Holy Spirit to effectively lead people in His presence whether we are at work, church, home or the grocery store.
In order to lead well, to lead the way that Jesus did doing only what the Father said, we must be first willing to sit with Jesus. We must be willing to surrender. We must be wiling to give our time to hear and see and know what God is wanting to do. We must surrender our embarrassment when it comes to the who, what, when, where, and why of what God is telling us to do.
When the crowds came to Jesus he did not say, "Ok give me a second I need to pray a long prayer to see what the Father wants to do."
No. Jesus was prayed up long before the crowds ever arrived. He had already invited the Father into His day to day activities. He had spent the time sitting with the Father. And what the crowds were experiencing was simply the overflow of that time with the Father.
Have you ever being in a place where someone walks into the room and all of a sudden everything feels very exhausting, sad, or even angry? Or, or maybe the opposite, someone walks into the room and it feels like the party is just beginning? We call those people thermostats. They can change the “temperature” of the room. Whatever mood that person walks into the room with they leak on the other people in the room thus changing the mood of those in the room.
When we consistently are spending our time sitting with Jesus he begins to leak on us and we in turn get to leak on those around us. It’s in the overflow. That’s how Jesus led. That is what we should be aiming for in every area of our lives. Leading from the overflow.
We are all called to lead one way or another. Some in our work places and some in our homes. Regardless where we lead, how we lead is going to determine who we lead. So let’s lead well. Let’s strive to mirror the One who gave us everything,
My pastor (John Poundstone) has a saying that goes like this,
“Transformed minds transform people. Transformed people transform families and groups.
Transformed families and groups transform cities and transformed cities transform nations.”
Leading from the overflow.
Let’s be women who shake up our understanding of leadership and follow Father God’s leading first and always.
Love you ladies,
Daughter of the King!
WRitten By: Alexandria Brown
For more from Alexandria, visit her website at www.alexandriabrown.org.
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