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"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." (Michelangelo)

Not many of us will are claim to be leaders. Behind the name tags, the title on the name cards, or the qualifications that surround our names, is an ordinary person who is dependent on God. I was reflecting today on the state of leadership in the Church. One of my elders recently wrote me, saying that if I were to challenge church members by setting a high bar, it will scare them away.

Of course, that comment disturbed me. Are we preparing to tough it out to be spiritual champs, or are we preferring to take it easy and become spiritual wimps? Personally, I rather have one good and committed leader than 10 half-hearted and sleepy ones.  The reason why we have a lack of leaders is because many of us are not sure of our own identity. We have not been challenged enough to raise our own bar for personal growth and excellence. 

I read the introductory name tag of Paul:

"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior," (Titus 1:1-3)

In one short paragraph, Paul states his identity: 'Paul, a servant of God.' He declares his calling: 'an apostle of JEsus Christ.' He shares his purpose in life: 'for the faith of God's elect.' He uses his spiritual gift of exhortation: contending for 'the knowledge of the truth.' He is fixated on the reason for his calling: 'to godliness.' He reminds and anchors himself on God: 'a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life.' He reaffirms the goodness and nature of God, 'who does not lie.' He is passionate about being faithful to bring God's Word to life.

In contrast, far too many Christians are too laxed about their own identity. To the question 'Who are you?' they usually say:

  • "I am a graduate of so-and-so University with a degree in _______"
  • "I work at XYZ company for 15 years."
  • " I serve in Church located at ABC place."
  • ....
  • ...

Not Paul. He boasts nothing about his legal credentials. He does not exhibit lists of ministry experience to show off. If he ever did, it would be to boast of God's strengths in his weaknesses in 2 Cor 12. Paul writes to his fellow believer, Titus, by first declaring his faith and identity as in Christ. His calling is in Christ. His passion, purpose, and programs are all made with glorifying God in Christ. As I think of Michelangelo's words about setting a high bar, and not to set a low bar for ourselves, I believe that as Christians, we are all called to be leaders. The difference is whether we are a good or a poor leader. All of us are leaders in some way, either at home, at work, or at other places. If that is the case, instead of waiting for a title, why not live out the title without the title?

This can be done by first setting a high bar for ourselves. Better still, let our desire for God, be the high bar, each time, and every time. Each time we set a high bar of desiring God, we are practicing leadership.

conrade

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Comment by Bryant LaFex on January 29, 2012 at 6:31am

good stuff

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