We both learn from and teach lessons daily. They are taught through various venues, including people God chooses to use as instruments in our lives. Today I want to share the many lessons I have learned from observing leaders throughout my journey. Some have been tough to get through, while others have been quite enjoyable–all valuable for my growth as a Christian.
Leader Number One: I remember sitting in a leadership meeting in a church setting, as the Executive pastor began to lead. On this particular day, the minister asked a question to individuals gathered for the meeting. He wanted to hear suggestions from those who served within the church on ways to reach more people for Christ. People began to respond, offering insights to his great question. What did I observe–learn?
Lessons Learned: (1) The pastor valued his employees and their opinions. (2) He listened. It was important to the leader to not only listen, but to learn for himself of better ways to reach others. (3) He took note. This part impacted me more than anything. He didn’t just listened and disregard; he took notes to learn from and also to implement. Even though the Lord had placed the pastor on a big platform, he was never beyond learning from others. I walked away from this meeting with lessons I would never forget.
Always value others. Listen. Take note, humble yourself, and be willing to learn from people God places in your path.Tweet
Leader Number Two: He was a pastor, a father figure, and a friend. He paved the way for many lessons to be taught, while serving as my pastor in my young twenties. How I serve in ministry today reflects his impact on my life in many ways.
Lessons Learned: (1) He recognized the gifts God had bestowed upon my life and called them out. (2) He opened doors for me to be used for God’s Kingdom. (3) He both encouraged me and inspired me to go far and beyond in ministering to others. (4) He taught me by his example how important the lost and broken are to Jesus and how imperative it is for the church to reach them. I am so thankful for his example.
Allow God to use you to help others a long the way. See their gifts. Call them out. Take a person under your wing to encourage and teach.Tweet
At times, we will learn lessons from individuals who have struggled in the area of leadership. No one person has done it all right. I certainly have not! Yet even in the midst of our failures, we can still learn lessons, grow from them, and entrust them to others. Nothing is ever wasted in the eyes of our Lord.
Leader Number Three: Years ago, I met an individual who served in a ministry role–yet sadly, his position title did not match his lifestyle. I observed many times, his gossip within crowds he was called to serve. He was notorious to embarrass people in front of others with his unrelenting remarks that would cut to the bone. At times, jealousy drove his life, and harsh words erupted from his lips as he attempted to serve others. His mistreatment of individuals left a trail of hurt.
Lessons Learned: Satan wanted to use this time in my life to cripple me, yet God used it to redirect and reposition me. Satan tried to use this season to create anger and bitterness, but God used it to teach me humility and obedience. Satan wanted me to reflect his character in how I responded, yet God’s Spirit working through me, reflected His image instead. Satan wanted to use it as a stronghold, yet God used it as an effective tool. Was it an easy time? No. But in looking back, I’m thankful for the way God used it.
Additional insights learned:
People are watching us, in every way, in how we live, how we respond to others and how we minister. When we mistreat, or mess up, repent of it, get it right with God, and then get it right with those we have offended.
How we use the tongue, and how we treat others, will be remembered, more than any sermon or Sunday school lesson we will ever prepare.Tweet
As leaders, we will make mistakes. Yet as stated earlier, we can learn from them. I will never be a person remembered for doing it all right. However, I pray to be a person remembered for learning from my mistakes, and for finishing strong in spite of them. Stay tuned over the next several months as I present additional lessons learned from leaders that I have observed. Blessings!