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Leadership Vows for the New Year, Part Three
by Tom Goodman
January 19, 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:

We've already looked at the first three vows.  (Click the links above to find the posts.)  This week, let's make a commitment to encouraging others and mentoring them.

Leaders as Encouragers

In Romans 14:19 (NIV), Paul writes, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."

We looked at "making peace" last week:  Now note that word "edification."  What is an edifice?  An edifice is just another name for a building.  An edifice is something that is built up.  Edification, then, is a process of building up instead of tearing down.

Christian leaders are to be encouragers.  A leader's greatest skill is revealed in how he corrects someone who has made a mistake, how she handles someone who raises a suggestion that needs a little refining, and how he presents himself to the troops when the group faces a setback.

In every one of those instances, leaders should be dispensers of hope.  Cecil Osborne once said, "Perhaps once in a hundred years a person may be ruined by excessive praise, but surely once every minute someone dies inside for lack of it."

Right now, I'm reading a book by Sam Crabtree called Practicing Affirmation.  Trusting the Scriptures that say God grants mercy to those who refresh others, I want to do a better job of this in 2012.

Leaders as Mentors

In addition to encouraging others, we need to look for ways to mentor.  In 2 Peter 1:15 (NIV), the Big Fisherman wrote, "And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things."

It's an effort we need to make as leaders, too.  At a Promise Keepers event, Howard Hendricks said that every man needs a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.  The third relationship is the one we often ignore.

Every man needs a Paul -- someone to mentor him and challenge him.

Every man needs a Barnabas -- a real friend.

Every man needs a Timothy -- someone into whom he can pour himself.

Hendricks went on to say that men will end their lives with a sense of unfulfillment if we don't train other men professionally or personally.  Hendricks was speaking specifically to men, but his words apply to women as well (Titus 2:3-5).

As we move further along in this new year, find ways to encourage and to mentor.  Next week we'll wrap up this LeaderLines series with the vow to continually grow.


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