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Leadership – Leading Others

Last week I shared the principle that effective leadership starts with first learning how to lead yourself, and that begins by learning how to first be a follower.  The next level of leadership is learning how to lead another person – one on one. This is the level of one disciple making another disciple.  This is what Paul was demonstrating when he said, “Follow me as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1). And this is what Jesus has called us to do in the Great Commission – be a disciple who makes disciples.  Learning to lead others is key to faithfully fulfilling Christ’s command.  While it may seem difficult it often happens more naturally than one might think.   Parents lead their children, husbands lead their wives, friends lead friends.  While there are a number of skills one can grow in to grow as a leader of others, I will focus on just three – listen, learn, and love.  Good leaders are good listeners, they not only hear what others are saying but actively listening for what is really being communicated, keying in on and identifying the needs and concerns of those they lead.  Leaders are learners, they next study and research to be prepared to bring timely truth, useful ideas and relevant resources to pass on to those they are leading.  And finally, leaders are those who truly love those they are helping.  This is the heart and soul of effective leadership.  Love for the Lord and love for our neighbor is the “why” in our motivation to lead others.  It is the reason we put the needs of others before our own.  It’s the reason we desire to see others reach the potential God has placed in them and called us to help draw out.  What a tremendous honor and privilege it is to be used of the Lord to lead others to become followers of Jesus and grow more and more like Him!  – Dr. Gary Mathes