A young woman setting out to change the world, armed with little experience beyond serving on ministry teams within her local youth group and a part-time job at the local Chick-fil-A where she was able to join the marketing team and be “the cow.” (Yes that was me!)
I’ve always been the kind of girl who wanted to do something great, make a difference, and direct others to know the awesome love of the God that I know and the freedom He offers.
I’ve also been the kind of girl who felt COMPLETELY inadequate to do so. If you’re like me, leadership has not always been a natural role. Your skills have developed, been honed, been observed and applied over time. Or possibly, you are at the beginning of this journey feeling, as I have, ill-equipped to accomplish much of what you dream.
I’ve sat under the guidance of many leaders. Some more well equipped than others. Some managed to inspire a great following and build great ministries, and some only great in the small sphere of influence the Lord has given them. Some I remember as exceptional. Others have lost their shine and blended into the background of my memory.
So I think to myself, “What sticks out most from the great leaders I’ve known?”
What has made the difference? I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two major components to my relationships with these mentors that allowed them to make a greater and deeper impact in my life.
- Christ-like Vision
- Intentional duplication
First and foremost, these mentors possessed a keen awareness of the vision God had for the world around them. I’m not talking about great and lofty goals, though some of these leaders had them. Sometimes, their plans would scare the living daylights out of me! But here is the kicker. The ones who made a difference to me, weren’t necessarily the ones with the loftiest goals. They were the ones who had vision for me personally. They not only looked at the world for what it could be, but they looked at me through the eyes of a Savior who made me for something more. They believed I could accomplish more and they took the time to tell me so! Their vision was not led by my current gifts or lack thereof. It was guided by the inner voice of the Holy Spirit who gave a vision of where we could go if submitted to His will.
I have worked under those who flat-out told me that I was inadequate, lacking, and not naturally gifted. Those leaders shined as single stars on the horizon of a gloomy sky. I looked up to them for their skills and admired their talent or charismatic personalities, but at least in my story, that is where their impact ended. Scripture tells us that:
Also connected to this Christ-like vision is the quality of intentional duplication. When a leader has the vision of Christ, they recognize they hold the potential for greater influence in each and every relationship.
When I finally found myself in a position where my leader saw me with Christ-like vision, I also found a leader whose goal was to avoid being the single star on the horizon. Their goal was to fill the sky with the light of a thousand dazzling orbs illuminating everything around them. They led me to listen to the Lord, learn about myself, and let the Lord empower me to lead beyond my natural abilities. I became inspired, equipped, and a powerful influence all my own.
Great leaders, lasting leaders, are concerned with reproducing other great and lasting leaders.
Christ-like vision requires that we allow the Holy Spirit to mold our hearts to be shaped like His so that our words and actions may be directed in His ways. In doing this, great leaders develop trust with those they lead and use their ability to both instruct and inspire their people, teammates, colleagues, and clientele.
So take a moment. Take a look at yourself.
Take the time to ask the Holy Spirit for the vision to see others as He does.
As you do, you will begin to see the beauty and potential of a world, bright and hopeful and ready to be changed!