A decade or more ago, I swore I would never read another book on leadership. As an undergraduate I readsomany I thought my head would explode. Then, as an Officer in the Marine Corps I read even more to the point of insanity! I was sick of reading about it. I just wanted to do it. So I swore off leadership books.
Never say never.
To graduate seminary I had to take a Course on Leadership. Poetic justice, I guess. So after the course, I swore again to never read another book on leadership.
Never say never.
For many months now, a book has just been sitting on a table in my living room. I have no idea where it came from, and my wife says she doesn't know either! I finally got tired of looking at it and cracked it open.
Manna from heaven!
Leadership as an Identity by Crawford Loritts, Jr. is the best book on leadership (from a spiritual perspective) that I have ever read. And I've read tons of 'em. Let me share some of his words of wisdom with you from the final chapter of the book. The Chapter is titled "The Legacy of Faithfulness."
Intelligence and ability will only get you so far. Faithfulness will carry you across the finish line . . . A faithful person is one who steadily follows God and obeys Him consistently. Faithfulness is the stuff of stability, the evidence of purpose, the signature of commitment. Faithfulness demonstrates that we take responsibility and accountability seriously. Faithfulness says that we believe that God's assignments are important.
If you desire to serve God long term . . . if you want your life to count . . . if you want to leave a legacy with your children and with the people you serve as a leader . . . you will pursue faithfulness in your life.
One day out of curiosity my friend asked his dad why he never needed an alarm, and the father's response was priceless: 'Responsibility woke me up every morning!' He had a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed, and a future to secure. Responsibility told laziness, 'Take your hands off him. It's time for him to get up and get after it!'
It is what you decide to do when the daily alarm clock of responsibility goes off that makes the difference. Will you shut if off and roll over and go back to sleep? Or will you get up and greet it with gratitude and holy ambition?
Here's what I have learned: Distractions can cause you to be faithful about the wrong stuff.
God's leaders who are faithful can't help but bring a sense of holy gravitas [weight and substance] to their environment. 'Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord' (Colossians 1:10). When we do God's will, our lives are characterized by a worthy 'walk.' Our faithful obedience to His will . . . ensures that God's unique presence will be with us.
So, where are you being tempted to be faithless or unfaithful? Marriage? Family? Parenting? Work? School? Friendships? Small groups? Bible study and memorization? Worship attendance? Evangelism and discipleship? Accountability for your life?
God give us courage to be faithful. Make us faithful servants of Christ, O Holy Spirit God! May we be those who are not just counted as church members, but those who can be counted on.
by Keith McWhorter