Leading in Difficult Times: Paul
by Rob Pacienza
Uncertainty, fear, confusion and financial loss can cause us to lose perspective quickly. As Christians, how are we to lead in difficult times? As men and women who follow Jesus, we need a perspective that reflects the reality of our hope.
One of my heroes in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. He is a leader of leaders. He exhibits a rare combination of strength and humility. If you know anything about his life and vocation, it was anything but easy. In fact most of his adult life is marked by one leadership crisis after another. If anyone understood what it meant to navigate through difficult times it was Paul.
Nearly 2000 years ago, Paul wrote a letter called Romans. In chapter 15 he demonstrates what it looks like to lead well while dealing with the pressures of this life. Using Paul as an example, my hope is that two things would happen in this season of uncertainty: Clarity of Mission and Dependence on God.
Clarity of Mission
Many people have no mission or purpose. Leaders must always have a focused goal. God did not create us to be aimless in this life. In Romans 15:16, Paul clarifies that his singular mission was to bring the good news of God to the Gentiles. I’m sure there were days when he was weary, confused, and might have lost the perspective of his calling. But here Paul articulates with laser precision his aim in life. Let’s take the opportunity to clarify our ultimate mission for our families and our work.
Dependence on God
The world says to dig deep in difficult moments and rely on your inner strength. But the Christian is called not to a life of self-reliance, but utter dependence upon God. Paul could have easily boasted in his accomplishments and sufferings, but in Romans 15:18-19 he chooses to speak of nothing except what Christ had accomplished through him. He can only point to the power of God at work through every challenge that he faced. We are weak, but He is strong. May we lead in such a way that our testimony at home and at work is that we demonstrate a hope and peace that surpasses all understanding.
Are you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Well you’re in good company. So did Paul. But this is what he chose to do about it: he pleads with his friends to pray for him by the power of Jesus (Romans 15:30). Jesus is the perfect leader, not Paul. “In Christ Alone My Hope Is Found.”
My prayer is that God would raise up men and women who have a laser focused mission and a rock-solid dependence upon Him in order to lead well through difficult times.