Leadership requires an intense amount of commitment, drive and hard work. How can you lead well in a way that can be sustained long-term? There are biblical leadership fundamentals that can help you fulfill your kingdom mission without experiencing burnout. These essential truths center around the following five areas: presence, purpose, plans, perseverance and people.
I'm learning that my ability to sift difficulty, pain and pressure through the Word of God is vital. This ability comes through a basic foundation—my relationship with the Lord. Everything I need can be found in His presence where my purpose will ultimately be revealed. Pursuing His purpose for my life will allow me to make plans that align with the Lord's desires for my life.
God's "presence, purpose and plans" have been on my heart for several months. Recently, the Lord has given me further revelation into two additional key fundamentals: perseverance and people.
You don't just drift into your best life; fulfillment of your calling will require you to dig deep and persevere. James 1:4 tells us, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
Often, perseverance requires a process called acclimatization. Alison Levine, polar explorer and mountaineer, says, "Climbing Mount Everest is not straightforward. In fact, the progression is similar to maintaining a strong organizational vision." She describes how climbers' bodies have to get acclimated very slowly, and progress requires going from basecamp up to higher altitudes and back down. If you can persevere even when it looks like you're going completely backward, you'll be well on the way to your destination.
There's no legacy or influence without people. Likewise, there's no influence with people without connection. Connection breaks down when we're afraid to share the truth going on inside of us or afraid to see the truth in someone else. Respectful leadership communication values everyone's thoughts, needs and feelings, which fosters connection.
Effective leaders must be skilled in the area of connecting with people, despite their scars. We all have scars, even the young among us. Scars represent what you've been through and the battles you've fought. They're real. They're authentic.
I hear the Lord say the same to us. Don't be ashamed of your scars. He uses scarred people to do powerful things for the kingdom.
Subscribe to the Pinnacle Leaders Podcast with Dr. Langley to listen to the podcast episode we released containing more on the topic of avoiding leadership burnout. You'll also find biblical wisdom on the areas of lordship, leadership and lifestyle.
Dr. Randal S. Langley is the president and CEO of Christian Life School of Theology Global, a world leader in theological and leadership education, providing online degree programs and customized Christian higher-education solutions for churches, ministries and other organizations. Dr. Langley is also president of the International Association of Bible Colleges and Seminaries and is a founding partner and certified life coach, teacher and trainer for the John C. Maxwell Team. His desire is to help people fulfill their ultimate purpose in life and achieve their God-given dreams.
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