No one becomes a leader overnight. Perhaps especially for someone God is raising up as a leader, the journey is a long one involving trials and challenges.
Learning how to be a good leader starts way before you are given authority over a big project or chosen to represent a group of people. It starts in the small things, in the battles we face even as children.
Melissa Edgington recently wrote a blog titled “What I Want My Daughter to Know about Being a Christian Leader” in which she pens a letter to her daughter about becoming the Godly leader Edgington knows her daughter can be.
If you have children, or frequently care for children, you have probably been amazed at how determined they can be when they set their mind on something.
Edgington recalls her daughter’s determination to learn how to jump rope, play basketball, and master dancing on pointe ballet shoes.
As Edgington watched her daughter grow up and master new skills, perhaps failing at first, but then getting back up and having courage to try again, she saw in her daughter the emergence of character traits that God was using to make her daughter into the kind of leader He desires.
“You are a leader,” Edgington says in her post. “It’s scary for me to even type those words because I understand what it means. It means you have a mind of your own. It means you have a strong will (someday I’ll tell you all about the year you were three). It means that God may call you to do hard things.”
The world may tell us that being a leader means having authority, being the most qualified, and standing out among your peers. And while the Christian leader acknowledges these things to an extent, she knows that Godly leadership involves more. It requires humility, a willingness to submit to the ultimate authority of Christ and to allow Him to lead and guide.
A Christian leader is confident because she knows who she is in Christ. She leans on Scripture instead of blindly following her heart. She knows that to be first is to be last, and that leadership means service.
A Christian leader knows that doubts will come, but she recognizes that God is faithful and trustworthy.
Crosswalk.com contributor Whitney Hopler encourages readers of her article “How to Dare to Do Mighty Things for God as a Woman” to “Ask the Holy Spirit to show you that your life matters, you’re gifted and called by God, and you’re needed to join his redemptive work in the world. Since God promises to work through you when you trust and rely on him, choose to do so every day, and God will give you the faith, confidence, and power you need to do your leadership work well.”
Perhaps, due to culture’s stereotypes and expectations, women especially have doubts about their ability to lead, and that is why Edgington pens this post to her daughter and all young women whom God is raising up as leaders.
Christian leaders do not rely on their own strength, however, and that is what releases them to truly accomplish God’s work. They know it is not about their credentials, their list of abilities, their resume. Each small lesson God is teaching them (like Edgington’s daughter fighting to master ballet) is a testament that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, all glory goes to Him.
As Edgington says, “Lead well, my girl, from the palm of His hand. And, don’t ever forget that every bit of the glory belongs to Christ, in your life, in mine, and in all corners of this earth and every galaxy beyond. To Him be the glory forever and ever.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: August 24, 2016
Veronica Neffinger is the editor of ChristianHeadlines.com