I was pondering the C’s of leadership lately as many of us have been disappointed in leaders lacking the character to walk faithfully and courageously.
Some people say that a leader should have character, charisma, commitment, courage, competence…
But, have you ever noticed how God seems to never look for people with outstanding character to call them to leadership?
Just read the Bible and look at the motley crew of disciples, the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews…and all their mistakes…
Does rather, God seem to take people and transform their character (if they surrender and trust Him)? Or even like David who was initially in good character, but later lapsed in character under the pressures of leadership…Thankfully, he later repented and God’s compassion still came…
(That is the key for any leader. Repentance is a beautiful thing that returns us to the path God has chosen for us. Without repentance, we lose the inheritance God has promised – even often for those we lead.)
Yesterday, at a women in leadership luncheon, I got to hear the story of how an employee lapsed in character (out of fear of not measuring up to expectations). But, the employer’s loving response casted out the employee’s fear… resulting in huge trust in their relationship. It was a beautiful God-filled thing!
The employee told the story of her own lapse in character. To admit what she did – you could sense the room gasp and I saw her neck turn slightly red as she must have felt like she walked off a ledge… But the story of how her employer responded to her – no scolding but with love and compassion. Wow – Jesus with skin on. I think what was shared was a wonderful shifting in perspective of what many have experienced from our leaders (both men and women). Jesus never shames us, but only empowers and calls us up to walk out our inheritance in Him.
Our character may lapse, but when we admit our mistakes, God’s compassion and blessing affects not just us, but everyone we lead.
And when we forgive those who admit their mistakes, we invest in them and encourage them to take hold of the inheritance they have in Christ.
But, when those who lead us or those we lead don’t admit mistakes, the relationship is broken and God’s inheritance is unclaimed.
(PS. Also got to hear a cool story yesterday of how a person was healed physically after their leadership repented.)