This semester was overflowing with great information. Each class’s wealth of resources and experience is truly a blessing. This class, in particular, regarding Leadership that Motivates and Relates, has many beautiful principles and life-changing actions that, when applied, will affect how you live out your Christian walk and approach your ministry. I want to give an overview of the information that impacted me and share the research I have compiled to continue to grow into an effective worker for the kingdom.
As this semester began, we were challenged to write down our mission statement and list the leaders in our life. The mission that I aim to accomplish in my life is to approach every person with grace and shine with the love of Christ. I want to encourage each person to the point that it will impact them, if not immediately, in a future time of need or reflection. Also, I want to provide an example for children to look up to without reproach. I have roughly six leaders I look up to and believe will help me in this journey.
From a Christian perspective, the hardest thing to overcome in this life is your flesh. The human body is capable of incredible achievements, but the mind, with all of its habits, perceptions, and preconceived ideas, must be mastered if we are to move forward in growth and ministry. Grumbling and complaining is the easiest and most popular habit to form with those around you. You can get a crowd of people with negative speaking when it seems people flee from positive reports. We must walk the path with the right attitude! Be positive on purpose; thinking, talking, and acting from excitement will begin to turn your thoughts toward the good. “When you gain control of your thoughts and attitudes, you gain control of yourself.” (Kinsey, p52)
What steps can we take toward subduing our minds and the will of the flesh? A daily relationship with Jesus is vital to everyone’s Christian journey. The Rule of 5 is so elementary that you could assume that everyone is doing it, but to have it written down and put into action is a giant-killing step toward dominion. “Taking small, simple daily actions builds tremendous power over time.” (Kinsey, p59) The scriptures that are listed in Made for More (pp102-103) show the progression we can achieve in Christ if we start with a bit of positivity. Psalm 1 has us abstaining from negativity which keeps us optimistic and brings wisdom. Next, Proverbs 12 encourages us to deal genuinely; honesty is always the best policy. In 1 Samuel 15, we are taught how the Lord esteems obedience. Finally, in Micah 6:8, the prophet states that God requires us to love mercy. In this chapter, I see a pattern: Be positive, deal honestly, walk in obedience, and love mercy. Practicing these fundamentals will lead to subduing the flesh and your mind, and the result is favor with God.
Another thought from Made for More is this, “favor with others is the respect that comes from loving others as Christ has loved us.” (Kinsey, p106) I have gained the respect of some people, and they look to me for an example. I believe everyone needs a consistent benchmark. When I was a young Christian, that was my friend, Kevin. Brother Kevin was a rock among men, and the love of Christ overflowed from his spirit. You never knew if he was having a bad day; Kevin was a constant in the mathematical equation of life. Kevin’s life was cut short in a tragic car accident, but his impact was felt in a celebration of his life where the crowds testified that I was not the only one to feel his love. When I look into the eyes of another human, I want to see them with the compassion and love that Jesus feels for them, looking past the facade and into the heart, where only God knows each individual’s potential.
Growing to our potential is partly due to understanding that we have limitations. We must commit to continual improvement. This growth will take work and determination. Determination is easier to develop when focusing on one step at a time. Psalm 105 summarizes Joseph’s steps to come to a place of life-saving prominence. There was a process! Joseph had to grow into the ruler he would become, and he would only achieve success if he utilized self-control to overcome bitterness. He admonishes his brothers with the revealed plan of God to save their lives, but in the big picture, God saved Israel, Egypt, the surrounding countries, and eventually the lineage of Judah, in whom the Messiah would be born.
“I measure my success by how much value I add to others.” (Maxwell, p148) Adding value to the kingdom is a trait every practicing Christian should strive to attain. It is exciting to watch others grow in Christ. You can assist in the process or possibly harm that person’s growth. We must choose the good. There is so much negativity in this world that the church needs to counter with the light. “Living each day with intentionality” (Maxwell, p187) will help us maintain self-discipline and be ready to help others. “Growth over time helps us to live out our hope. You gradually move from hope imagined to hope realized” (Maxwell, p209), and that hope testifies that if God can do that for you, He will do it in the lives of those around you.
To be continued…