Last week I had the joy of attending the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL. Over 100,000 people worldwide will take part and listen to this conference focusing on leadership issues with a goal of empowering and training. Yet one of the first things spoken about as the opened the summit is what is leadership? What does it mean, what does it look like? The opening speaker shared that leadership is much more than just standing in front of a group, it is more than being the loudest person, or having the most power. When you look for definitions of leadership here are just a few of the many out of the dictionary: influence, direct, go before, show, command, take the first place to set an example, and conduct.
Each Sunday I introduce myself as we begin church and I share that I am the lead pastor of Trinity Community Church, but what does that mean? As someone kindly reminded me, Bill you are the only pastor, why are you the lead pastor? I am the Lead pastor because leadership is a central role that I have been called to. One of my favorite quotes from leadership comes from Pastor Andy Stanley, “As a leader you are not the smartest, the strongest, or the best. You are just the leader.” That’s so true, there will always be someone sitting in the pews smarter than me, stronger than me, knows the bible better, etc. But I have been called to lead. I have been called to lead by empowering all of you to use the gifts God has given you to make an impact in our church and community. I have been called to lead by training future leaders whose work will outlast my own. I have been called to lead by following the Holy Spirit. But I am not the only one called to lead. As Christians we are called to lead in a number of settings, to bloom where we are planted as we were reminded last week.
We can be called to lead within our homes by setting an example of living out our faith for our family members. We can be called to lead within our work place, by building up co-workers instead of discouraging, and working with integrity. We can be called to lead within a ministry by facilitating events and programs. We can be called to lead by empowering more leaders to do God’s work.
As the Lead Pastor of this church I am not the smartest, the strongest, or even the one who has all the answers. But I have been called by God to lead. In the same way I have been called to this specific leadership role, God has placed a call on each of you too. Where it is that God has called you to lead? What kind of leadership has he called you to? Some of the most effective leaders are humble, focused on the well-being of others beyond themselves, their confidence and comes not from them, but from God who is leading and empowering them. So where has God called you to lead? Where has God planted you, and how is he calling you to bloom in that setting?