Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Leadership is a Miracle

The following is the third excerpt from an article by R. Scott Rodin titled, “Becoming a Leader of No Reputation” that originally was published in Journal of Religious Leadership,/ Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 2002), pp. 105 – 119.

“I have come to the conclusion that when God uses any of us to lead effectively, it is nothing short of a miracle.  When we place the complex and demanding role of a godly leader next to an honest self-awareness of our own sinfulness and incompetence, we are thrown wholly upon the grace of God and his faithfulness if we are ever to lead anyone anywhere.

“I have come to learn that we must approach leadership in dependent humility.  Throughout history God looked to the least, the weakest, the outcast, the untalented, the sinful and the rejected to give great leadership at historic times.  And He hasn’t changed that approach today.  If we are honest as leaders, we know that we are not capable of leading as the size and complexity of our call demands.  We know that there are others more talented, more prepared, more spiritual and more courageous than are we.  But great godly leaders have always worked at that miraculous intersection where humility and faith meet the awesome presence and power of God’s Spirit.

“When God uses us to lead, and lead effectively, we should fall on our knees in wonder and thanksgiving that we have seen again this miracle worked in our midst.  However, it is far too easy for us to take ownership of this miracle and to believe that these results are due to our own wonderful abilities and leadership qualities.  If and when we make this subtle yet devastating shift, the efficacy of our leadership for the kingdom is over.  We are on our own, cut off from the power and preservation of the Spirit.  Every leader finds himself or herself there at some point in their work, and it is a terrifying place to be!

“Godly leadership is the miracle of God’s use of our earthen vessels for the glorious work of His kingdom.  To miss this miraculous aspect of leadership will threaten everything we do as leaders, and our office or study will be the loneliest place on earth.  I have come to understand the miracle of godly leadership, and its connection with self-awareness, the need to decrease and the power of God’s anointing.””

Who has been getting the credit for the results of your leadership recently?

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