Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Common Bonds in Leadership

A leader who looks with vision into the future sees by faith those who God will give us to influence.  It is essential that these people are unified and aligned around a common purpose or mission. They must also have common bonds around their devotion to Jesus, the hope that the Gospel is truly the power of God to change lives, and that they are personally called to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Remember that unity of purpose and conviction does not mean uniformity. We will be diverse in our applications of these commonalities, but we will be united in our similar convictions. Yes, there are many more things that we will have in common other than these three things, but as we grow and expand into the future that God has for us, these three bonds will have to remain strong.

By “devotion to Christ” I mean our commitment to Jesus above all else in life. This is manifested in a  willingness to put Him first in all areas of our lives–a willingness to sacrifice for Him. It also is seen in a willingness to take risks for Jesus’ sake. As we move into many new ventures of faith, God will ask us to live with some uncertainty and ambiguity for a while. We can do this because we are confident He has led us and our devotion to Him overcomes our feelings of unease.

A second common bond is our “hope in the Gospel.” We believe that the Gospel can and does change lives and that it is the power of God at work in those who believe. With all of the crying needs of this hurting world, we believe that the primary need is spiritual and that need is met through responding to the Good News. Therefore, we must seek to share the Gospel with those that don’t know Him.

As we seek to bring the Gospel, we believe that we will see fruit (in our respective seasons) as we faithfully scatter the spiritual seed. We sow expectantly, trusting that God will bring forth growth as we faithfully labor. But whether we sow or reap, we believe in the hope of the Gospel for those around us.

Our third common bond of unity is the “Great Commission.” We must always remember that the Great Commandment to love God is of higher priority than the Great Commission. But it is our passion for helping to fulfill the Great Commission by multiplying the number of spiritual laborers that also binds us together. We plan, organize, and lead out in our respective spheres with the desire to see people reached, discipled, and equipped to become spiritual laborers. These spiritual laborers will be raised up and then sent to the nations to do more of the same.

The scope of the Great Commission is “all the nations.” Acts 1:8 reminds us that the progression is to begin at our own “Jerusalem.” But our local ministry is always done in the bigger context of seeking to impact the world for Christ!

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