Leadership Lessons I've Learned

Leadership is a process.  We don't just wake up one morning, and "zap!" we're a leader, a good leader.  It takes time - lots of it.  It takes growth.  It takes learning lessons.  And it takes lots of help from the Lord if we are going to be the leader He wants us to be.

I'm old enough now that I can look back over my life and see ways that God has worked in my life in shaping me into the leader He wanted me to be.  One of the biggest things I see is His lessons!  Lots and lots of lessons.  Big ones, little ones, but all of them important in the process of shaping my character and my leadership.

I think one of the most important things I see is how He prepared me in one season for the next season.  Without those lessons, I don't think I could have made it through each season!  And all of them have prepared me for the season I'm walking through now.  There have been times when I've not been happy about the lessons - but I am so very grateful for all of them now.  

I am absolutely, 100% positive that I could not have made it on the journey I'm on now with Floyd's illness if God hadn't prepared me through His lessons in my life over many years!  

There are some basic things, basic principles I've learned.

1.     We should ALWAYS be growing.  It sounds simple, but that doesn't mean it will be easy.  If we don't grow, we'll become stagnant - and we can even go backwards and lose ground spiritually.

The pressures of life can rob us of pressing in spiritually.  We can become so busy that we lose our sensitivity to hearing God speak to us. Tiredness can become an excuse to diligently pursuing growth.  Hurt from previous lessons and times of growth can make us draw back.

Even as we get older, age (and some of the wisdom that comes with it) can make us feel comfortable with what we know, and make us dull to what God wants to continue to teach us.  We will all grow older, but we may not become mature in our walk with Him.

We must actively, purposely pursue God's lessons.

2.     We need to receive His grace for the lessons He has for us.  The Bible tells us "His grace is sufficient."  If we try to learn His lessons in our own strength we'll probably be discouraged, and give up.  We may even be resentful to the Lord, thinking He's asking too much of us.  His grace is freely given.  We need to ask for it, and graciously receive it.

3.     We need to be ourselves.  We are all "fearfully and wonderfully made" in His image.  There's no box or mold that we all have to fit in.  But we need to also be careful that we don't use that as an excuse to be independent or keep from learning.  A constant protection is to have teachable, humble hearts.

4.     We need to be careful we don't get in a hurry to learn the lessons God has for us.  God's time table isn't always the same as ours.  I'd say that most times it's not!!  I remember one very important life lesson that the Lord had for me took 5 years.  I don't think I was stubborn or slow, it was just a very big foundational lesson that took time to work into my heart and character.  Everything since then has built upon it.  I'm so grateful God took time to make sure it became part of who I am.  I moaned and groaned along the way, but I needed every day of that 5 year time frame to learn everything He taught me. 

Don't forget - Jesus took 30 years to get ready for His 3 years of ministry!

5.     We need to be faithful in the lessons God has for us.  We don't have to be perfect.  We can make mistakes, pick up the pieces, and begin again.  But we do have to be faithful.  God can use our mistakes and failures along the way as stepping stones to growth in our lives as long as we are teachable and faithful.

If we're careful to not despise the lessons God has for us, we can actually be content in each season - even as we're walking through seasons of deep growth.  We need to be careful not to wish for the past or long for the future.  We can simply rest in His timing, His instruction, and His goodness.  He's a wonderful and faithful teacher!  I'm so grateful for His lessons.

"O God, You have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do."  Psalm 71:17

"Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?  He will instruct them in the ways they should choose."  Psalm 25:12

"Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day."  Psalm 25:4,5

"God instructs him and teaches him the right way."  Isaiah 28:26

I don't know how I would have made it without His wonderful instruction.

How good and faithful He is.