A new Leader!
A celebration is ongoing for those of the Catholic Faith around the world. Congratulations on the election of South America’s first Pope, Pope Francis! As I watch the celebration, it reminds me of the difficulties that face today’s Christian leaders in this age of communication overload, etc.
The role of a Leader is to lead. Sounds simple, but it is probably one of the most difficult jobs that anyone faces. A Leader, if they seek to be a good one, must be a strong listener, a team builder, and most of all never forget that it is not about her/him.
Leadership requires someone that can make decisions, but also be willing to listen to all sides. In fact the best leaders often will take opposite sides of a point of view just to ensure that all angles are seen prior to making a decision. For a Christian leader, the first decision was to follow Jesus and use His teachings as our guide. Once that decision was made, He began to prepare each of us for service. We must use these gifts to serve the Kingdom in the best most efficient manner possible.
The world we now operate in is one of information overload. There is Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Linked-In, etc. Anything that happens around the world is readily known in minutes. As leaders we are now being asked to be effective, but also know that every issue will be on full display for the world to see. If someone is not criticizing your efforts, the odds are you are not doing your job. It’s pretty thankless, but no one ever said it would be easy.
The old days of media relations in radio, and early television birthed a new form of Christian messaging. These were the days of the tell the story and they will come. We have now entered into a new world where we have to ensure that our team is on message and focused on all facets of what is to be accomplished. Its a good thing, but it is also a lot of work. The person in the warehouse, or the person in a jungle half-way around the world must understand what our tasks are and how we are working as a team to accomplish the goals of the ministry. Add in multiple cultures, languages, etc. and you can see how big a challenge this can be…..oh, and don’t forget, the enemy is trying to destroy all you are doing in God’s name!
We as followers of Jesus can also be confused and knocked off track by the enemy. He will use our misunderstandings and ego’s to get in the way of our goal. Visibility and success can also be used to blur our focus. Ministry Leaders can be confused while trying to do the right thing, only to find out later on those that they were helping did not have the best of intentions. It happens, and we must use the skill and intelligence God gave us to see through the smoke and continually refocus our team when necessary.
Jesus provided the best model of all in terms of how leaders should act. His actions were that of kindness and compassion, but He also had no problem standing up to those that were out of line. We will never be Jesus, but we are asked to do our best and use the gifts that God has provided in service for the Kingdom. Its a big responsibility and one that no one should ever take lightly. Please pray for your leadership, it’s a tough job and they need your support and prayers.