God never meant for us to do life alone. Right from the beginning, he created marriage because God said, “it isn’t good for man to be alone.” Throughout the Old Testament, God placed people in community with leaders or kings. In the New Testament, the church is born and God places believers in community together (Acts). Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs or teams.
God placed Jesus in a family and when Jesus began his ministry on earth, he picked twelve men to be his most intimate community. Even out of the twelve, he had three that were closest to him – Peter, James, and John.
Community. Family. Relationships. This life is meant to be lived in close relationship with others. We were not meant to do life alone.
As a leader, it would be easy for you to do the leadership thing alone. You don’t want anyone too close or they will see your inadequacies, uncertainties, and insecurities. Yes, every single leader has them. There are times when you become paralyzed by the weight of a decision. You smile and pretend everything is ok and you are on top of your game when in reality you are scared and don’t have a clue what to do.
Every leader needs people around them. A safe place to go to be you, to be vulnerable, to ask for help, to blow off steam, and to be covered in prayer. A place to go where you will be challenged to stretch, grow, and develop. Like Moses, sometimes you need someone to hold up your arms so you can lead because you are just flat out exhausted, that bone tired that makes it hard to do anything.
You have to risk in relationships. Wisdom but risk. Yes, sometimes you will be hurt or let down by those you trust but most of the time, you will be supported, encouraged, prayed over, and stronger because you risked letting others into your life.
Here are a few guidelines for leadership community:
1. A small network. Pick two or three people to be your leadership “go to” community. You are blessed if you have more but you need at least two or three. It is good if at least one is outside your organization. It may include someone on your team who partners with you like an associate, executive pastor, or serves on your leadership team. If you honestly can’t identify leaders, pray and ask God to
open your eyes to see and show you whom to include.
2. Challenged to grow. You don’t want a “yes” group that will only tell you what you want to hear. It is good to have leaders who are more experienced than you and can provide leadership wisdom. Your
leadership community should challenge you to grow and continue to develop as a leader. They will ask you what you are reading and who you are networking with to grow. This community will not let you slip into mediocrity or complacency.
3. Prayer support. You need to know your leadership community is praying for you on a regular basis. They pray for God’s hand to be on your life. They pray that God would give you wisdom and direction as a leader. They pray that God would protect you and protect your family. You can call them anytime for specific prayer intervention and you can count on them to pray.
4. Accountability. You want your leadership community to hold you accountable and will ask you the hard questions about work, marriage, family, and life. They will care enough to help you guard your moral and ethical integrity. They will ask you about your personal time in God’s Word and in prayer.
I couldn’t do leadership without the men and women who are in my leadership community who challenge, support, and pray for me. They often push me out of my comfort zone to grow as a leader and they are always there for me when I need them. Don’t do leadership alone. Develop a community of leaders. It will make you a healthier and more effective leader and God will use you to do the same for others.
Jesus is our ultimate safe place where His faithful love and grace are always present. He is always trustworthy. His love of you will never waver, will never be in doubt no matter what you do or don’t do. Your ultimate confidence as a leader comes from Christ. Because He loved and He gave, you can lead. You can accomplish the task God has given you to do whether it is being a parent, pastoring a
church, or leading an organization or team. All for His glory, all for the advancement of the gospel.
I would love to hear how you do leadership community.