Leadership Vows for the New Year, Part Two
by Tom Goodman
January 12, 2012
Have you noticed how often the phrase "make every effort" shows up in Scripture? For these opening weeks of the new year, I'm taking you you to six places where that phrase shows up in Scripture. You'll discover that these six challenges are
especially important for those of us who lead.
For the next few weeks in LeaderLines, I want to take a look at six personal vows that you and I should make in 2012:
- I vow to maintain my integrity.
- I vow to forgive those who hurt me.
- I vow to be a peacemaker.
- I vow to be an encourager.
- I vow to mentor others.
- I vow to never stop growing.
Last week we looked at the first vow. This week, let's look at forgiveness and peacemaking.
Leaders as Forgivers
First, you'll never be effective in leadership without forgiveness. In Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV) we read, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the
grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
You will be hurt in leadership. Just think of all the modern proverbs of leadership:
"The pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs."
"If you call the shots you're going to take the shots."
"The moment you put out your shingle, people start throwing rocks at it."
All these little sayings wouldn't exist if leaders didn't have to endure times of criticism.
If you're going to lead people, there will be times that people will frustrate you, stand in the way of your vision, and even organize against you. So, leaders have to vow be forgivers, bridge-builders, fence-menders.
Leaders as Peacemakers
In addition to forgiving others, we should make a New Year's vow to be peace makers. Ephesians 4:3 (NIV) says, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
We leaders need to do more than just forgive those who hurt us: We need to look beyond ourselves and to see how we can promote peace between all those we lead.
The vow to be a forgiver has to do with your own conflicts; the vow to be a peacemaker has to do with the conflicts you see between others.
As leaders it's our job to get our group to the next level: If we coach, we want to lead our team to a winning season; if we oversee a sales force, we want to break the old sales record. But our group won't advance to the next level if there's a lot
of infighting. So leaders have to spend time making sure the policies are clear, the chain of command is spelled out, the lines of communication are open, and conflicts are resolved quickly.
This is true in a church, too. A big part of church leadership involves monitoring the health of relationships among the church members and doing what it takes to keep those relationships healthy. It's interesting the way the verse is worded: "Make
every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit." The unity that the Holy Spirit provides is something that must be kept: We do not create it -- it occurs because the same Spirit that fills you fills me. Our job then is not to create it but to keep that
unity that is provided for us.
Next week, we'll look at some more "New Year's Resolutions" that we leaders should "make every effort" to keep!
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