- De Pree Center
- Life for Leaders
- Church & Marketplace
- Contact Us
Through Isaiah, the Lord made known his plans to use Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple. Of course, this meant that the Israelites would be subject to Cyrus… not exactly the kind of restoration they would have wanted. Surely it was tempting for them to question God’s plans, to doubt his wisdom or goodness. Yet the Lord points out the folly of such arguments.
The purpose of leadership is to mobilize people and resources towards a determined goal. Transformational leadership, however, is about cultivating future leaders who can carry on the mission for generations to come. Transformational leaders look at their core group of followers and are able to discern the future leaders that lie within. This is what Jesus was doing when he called out the twelve disciples.
In my experience, good leaders have high expectations. That’s true not only in entrepreneurial settings or established for-profit businesses, but also in thriving non-profits and churches. Still, a high commitment leadership culture can come at a price… So what underlies the turn from good leadership to bad in the area of high expectations? Where do we cross over from legitimately expecting much of ourselves and others to placing “heavy, cumbersome loads” on them?
Jesus invites us into the house and household of God, the family of God. We can accept this invitation now, even as we await a greater fullness of family life in the future. You and I have the opportunity to be brothers and sisters in the family of God, beloved children of our heavenly Father. In this sense, we can be at home with the Lord today.
God is not limited to using those who recognize him to do his bidding. In the majesty and mystery of his sovereignty, God even works in and through those who are ignorant of him and his plans. Such is the unique greatness of our God! How much more would God want to use those of us who do know him and are committed to him!
Just when we think we have God all figured out, he does something completely unexpected. Often, God chooses to use people whom we might write off because we don’t think they are good enough or Christian enough or whatever enough. Yet, in his sovereign wisdom, God can and does use all people and all things for his purposes.
The prophecies of Isaiah often convey the Lord’s displeasure with his people. Because of their persistent rebellion against him, God will finally allow them to reap the sour fruit of their sin. But that’s not the whole story. Through Isaiah, the Lord reveals his persistent mercy. Beyond punishment there is forgiveness and restoration… a new start for Israel.
In Isaiah 44, God speaks through the prophet to highlight his divine uniqueness. Though there are many other “gods,” the Lord reveals, they are mere idols, formed by human hands from material elements… The Lord, on the contrary, is unique. He alone is “the first” and “the last,” the one who is before all things and who will be there at the end of time (44:6).
Leaders do not only regularly disappoint those we lead, we can also disappoint ourselves. When we don’t hit benchmarks, when we let down a parishioner, or when we fail to reach a goal, we not only have to contend with the swarm of people disappointed in our leadership but also with our own self-criticism. Often, we are our own worst critics.
In my twenty-plus years as a leader in the non-profit sector, I’ve found that much of leadership involves disappointing people. When I got into church leadership, I assumed I would spend the majority of my time inspiring people with my vision, comforting people with my pastoral skills, and instilling God’s Word through my preaching. Little did I know that in every one of those areas (and more) I would disappoint people.
Search Life For Leaders
Tags1 Corinthians 1 John 1 Kings 1 Peter 1 Samuel 1 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Corinthians 2 Timothy Acts Advent Ash Wednesday Christmas Colossians Deuteronomy Easter Ephesians Esther Exodus Galatians Genesis Good Friday Habakkuk Hebrews Holy Week Isaiah James Jeremiah John Lamentations Lent Luke Mark Matthew Philippians Proverbs Psalms race reconciliation Revelation Romans Stations of the Cross Thanksgiving Theology of Work Project Zephaniah
Life for Leaders Archives