Okay, you could argue I’ve been a leader for a long time and you would be right. Posting to this blog is leadership. My speaking ministry is leadership and I pastored a church I planted with my wife and some friends for ten years and that was leadership. You’d think leadership would be old-hat for me and in some ways it is, but being called as a pastor has brought me back into thinking about leadership, but more than leadership, visionary leadership, creative leadership, inspirational leadership. In other words, I don’t just want to tell people what to do. I want to help people find their God-given calling and help them to thrive in being what God created them to be. I want to encourage and inspire and I want to see the excitement in their eyes as they begin to see fruit. Hopefully that has been happening here all along.
Let’s start off with an admission. This is not about me. The truth is, these people are already gifted, they’re already working and serving, already doing great stuff, and so, by the way, dear reader, are you. This is less about getting people started and more about helping them see. Wayne Cordeiro in his book The Irresistible Church relates the story of an interaction with a young man setting up a speaker in his church. All the young man could see was that he was doing a pretty simple job he had done for a long time. Cordero told the young man that what he was actually doing was “… making it possible for a person to hear the Gospel clearly and without distraction probably for the first time in his life.” He concluded the story by saying when that person receives Christ, they can rejoice together because they worked together to bring that person to Jesus. It’s true. One of the first things we need to do is help people to realize the eternal significance there can be in everything we do in service to the Lord.
In other cases what people need to see is that all their gifts, talents, abilities, etc. are given from God and usable in His Kingdom. What I am saying is, this is not so much about level of proficiency and excellence and more about faithfulness. I want to be used to inspire every gifted person (and we’re all gifted) to see the value in what God has given them and then to help them imagine new possibilities. “What would it look like if I took this thing I have and used it to the glory of God.” I know this works because I came into this ministry life thinking all I could do was draw cartoons and I saw God use that one thing to reveal a path I would probably never have found, and probably would not have embraced, but today I can’t imagine life without having found this path. I’ve written books, I’ve ministered in fourteen states and I have a daily blog that is read all over the world. God is using my life in ways far beyond what I could have imagined and that is precisely the point. I’m nothing special and anything that is special about me is there because of God. What He did for me, He desires to do, in many ways, ways that are unique to very person, in every person. This should not be surprising. Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ultimately He imagined it, and it is His power that makes it happen.
Maybe the best way to be a visionary leader, is to help others to see.