Our Top Priority
Most followers of Jesus—whether pastors, laypersons, managers, employees—don’t recognize the impact their leadership has on the faith of others. But we are called to manage our influence on others in light of what Jesus said is the most important priority:
A religious leader asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
And look how Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36–39, niv).
Life-giving leadership is all about staying in deep relationship with our heavenly Father so we can love those around us best and bring life to the people God has put in our circle of influence.
As followers of Jesus and representatives of the gospel, we are given a standard of leadership different from that of the world. It’s a higher standard that governs how we treat people, a better version of how to invest in those around us. We have been given a divine directive to lead well. God calls us to change the world by the power of His truth and the gospel that is lived out through our leadership. Leaders who understand this begin to bring life to the community they serve.
Think of your family, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your coworkers, or the volunteers in your organization. You represent God to every one of these people, and for that reason I want you to be aware of life-giving leadership. In short, how you lead affects people’s faith. We can’t possibly lead people well if we fail to recognize this.
What if the most spiritual thing you can do this week is to lead the people around you well? To do that, you first need to embrace your call to lead, because failing to do so would be like assuming your money will do what’s best for you without your first creating a financial plan. To be a life-giving leader requires accepting the power and calling on your life to lead and then developing plans for leading well.
Do you believe you have an influence on the faith of those around you? Why or why not?