A few days ago, I read an article written by Bill Hybels about how leaders grow, and I would like to share with you some of the concepts because, as a missionary, you are a leader where you work.
A key element of leadership is weaving disciplines into your life which assure the people you lead that you are growing and developing in constructive ways – continually expanding your vision, knowledge, skills, heart and, most important, your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Here are some practical ways you can do just that:
Cultivate a Teachable Spirit
“God has not called me to be original. He has called me to be effective.” Everybody is ignorant, just on different subjects.
Learn to ask questions. More often than not, if you admit your own ignorance and invite people to help you, you’ll be amazed by the results. With an attitude of humility, you can learn from anybody, including seekers, people with whom you disagree, critics, and even enemies.
Develop an Inquiring Mind
“Counsel in the heart of man is like a deep well. But a man of understanding will draw it out.”
It is far easier for God to teach you if you have an inquiring mind. Develop a list of standard questions to ask people you meet, such as:
What is your greatest success? Why? What is your greate4st failure? Why? How do you relieve stress in your life? What books are you reading? What is the biggest mistake that you have made? What makes your heart beat fast these days?
Influence and Be Influenced by Your Family
Reflect on the ways you have been influenced by your parents. If you are a parent, consider the ways you influence your child. Become a student of your child. Be careful not to make your child in your image – let God make him or her in His image.
Discuss with your spouse ways that you can encourage each other to grow.
Expand Your World
“Seek out multiple mentors who can help you develop in different areas.”
When you have the opportunity to be around successful leaders, identify and study what in their leadership they do better than anyone else.
Read Wisely and Voraciously
“The person who says, ‘I don’t know what to preach on,’ is obviously not feeding him/herself.”
Read the Bible daily. Try to take away at least one good idea from every book you read. Keep current on world events.
For a leader, growth isn’t just an option – it is mandatory. The alternative is atrophy, and that spells trouble for you personally and spiritually as well as for the work you do and the staff you lead.
Never stop looking, learning, and asking questions. Keep sharpening your ax!
I am hoping that these thoughts may be an incentive for you.
By Claude Sabot
When Claude Sabot wrote this article, he was serving as GC Associate Secretary