LIFESTYLE LEADERSHIP : Communication
The story is told about a mouse and an elephant that traveled together for many years. One day they arrived at one of those hanging rope bridges over a ravine and began to cross it together. As they stepped on the bridge the ropes strained from the load and the wood slats creaked and swayed in the wind. When they arrived on the other side of the bridge, the mouse looked up at the elephant and said, “Boy we really shook that bridge, didn’t we?”
We, as Christians, many times fail to recognize the FACT that we are chosen to have the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE along side each of us. “If God be for us, who can stand against us?” As leaders, as EKKLESIA, we need to be mindful of this fact in our lives.
Prayerfully we will look back after a “shaky bridge” of life and be able to look at God and say the same words as that little mouse – “Boy did WE really shake them up, Lord!”
One major area where many of us need special grace is in the area of COMMUNICATION. God left His Word to allow us to be informed. WHY? Because it is the very nature of God to inform His people of what is necessary to allow us to perform our calling. The Psalmist tells us that “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel” (Psalm 103:7).
“In the know” is a catch phrase used to designate a special group of people with extra information not normally given to others. The Leader of Christ’s Kingdom should make certain that everyone that the leader is in authority over, is assured a position of being “in the know.”
Turn to Colossians 4:7-9 and see what Paul told this body of believers. Look at II Timothy 4:20. Look at Romans 16:21, and II Timothy 4:11. Why does God through Paul allow so much Scripture to be used to “update” some of the believers. WHY? To motivate or keep them motivated? To involve them with what Paul was doing? To inspire some additional prayer warriors? To show them they were important to the Kingdom of God and His work in the world? ALL OF THE ABOVE! We should take special note and put this concern for communication to others in our heart. Our LIFESTYLE should reflect that we inform those with whom we are working.
Proverbs 15:7 gives us the reverse to review. “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not so.” A wise leader spreads the word – a fool does not. Pretty simple? The Truths
of God are in line with this truth, simple and clear. We, when we give consideration to our own needs, realize that we have an insatiable desire to know what is going to affect our lives, yet we
think that some people don’t need to be “let in” on certain matters until we deem it necessary. By so doing, we breed confusion and misunderstanding and we demoralize those we are charged to lead.
We need to increase our ability to be pleasant. “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). A leader needs to inform the people with pleasant tones and strive for the result that everyone involved will have high morale. Solomon had many words on the different kinds of information that a leader is to provide:
“A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23) There is a time to speak. If we jump the gun and give information before the people are ready we may cause our brother to stumble; yet if we wait too long, the “rumor mill” gets into gear and causes disruptions. The leader must seek God’s will and plan and time. God will make certain that the leader is given what is necessary to perform as God would desire. “Loyalty and truth preserve the king, and he upholds his throne by righteousness” (Proverbs 20:28). People will not, knowingly, follow a liar, anyone who does not tell the full truth at all times. The leader who tells the TRUTH in all situations creates an environment of trust, and God uses this environment to move His kingdom forward. Even “white lies” can prepare a road that people do not trust, and where people cannot trust fully, people do not go. “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable” (Proverbs 15:2). Too much, too soon can breed many negative fruits. A Leader needs to pray continually for guidance that he tells the necessary information to those under his charge and does not “overload” the circuits by giving too much. The information withheld cannot be vital information, but information that would not assist the follower.
“The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” Leaders motivated by their hearts are persuasive. How many of you have been turned off by a leader quoting from so-and-so or Dr. So-and-So? Leadership means that you have taken a position in front and are ready to share what happens to you “up there” to those behind you to show that God provides.
Paul, again to the Colossians wrote: “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device,
nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest” (Colossians 3:23 & Ecclesiastes 9:10). God through two men of diverse heritage and separated by many hundreds of years both spoke what God told them to say – exhorting us to strive for the excellence and wholeheartedness that God does EVERYTHING!
How do we respond, we say “Take it easy” or “Don’t Burn Out” or “Don’t work too hard, buddy.” This whole attitude is seen in the world today and contributes to its mediocrity. We best be aware that that is what lies ahead for us if we adopt this half- hearted attitude. Our standards and our performance MUST be high. God set a standard of PERFECTION. We must open our hearts to have Him produce His PERFECT works through our wholehearted dedication to Him.
Jesus tells us today: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me,” and Jesus MEANT every word of this passage! We as leaders are blessed that we build for the present. What we do has present results. We must be mindful that our LIFESTYLE also builds for the future. If our heart is not TOTAL for the Lord, what will our “charges” be like? Fire is the only thing that kindles fire. We are charged by Jesus to be the igniters of the world, yet many of us think, “Well, I spent my hour of devotion today, now I’ll watch the football game!” In John 2:17, we read the words “The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.” Can we show the power of Christ and have the zeal of Christ? If not, then who!?
Jesus also gave us the commandment of Mark 12:29-30. Read these verses. They remain in His Word and are as valid TODAY as they were when Jesus spoke them. In the Army, there is a saying: “When we play men’s games ONLY men will come to play.” If we have a LIFESTYLE of this standard of WHOLEHEARTEDNESS, we will attract those of like desire.
Everything in this world will pass away. Nothing is going to remain! Two things will survive the events of Revelation, the Word of God and the souls of mankind! Each of the leaders we read of in the Scripture were not sidetracked from their chosen path, or were faint- hearted because of overwhelming odds. Ridicule, opposition and even death did not deter those who had given their whole heart to God and were of one purpose – single-minded in purpose.
Our life is too short. James 4:14 gives us God’s view. Keep this in your minds and hearts. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us where we are to look. Turn there.
Everything that we do as ‘sent’ messengers and ambassadors of the King is another reason for singlemindedness. I Corinthians 15:58 tells us “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know THAT YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN in the LORD.” We are GUARANTEED that what we do in service TO THE LORD is worth something EVERLASTING!
A rich woman had a dream about being allowed to walk on the streets of heaven. She came to a large structure and asked who that MANSION was being built for. She was told the name and she remarked, “That is my gardener. He wastes his money on the poor and lives in a small house. Why should he get such a house?” The workmen told her to take the matter up with the Master Builder; so she proceeded down the street. Shortly she came to another structure, very small and shabby. She asked who that house was for and she was given a name. She realized that it was HER NAME! She stated, “Why, I live in a big mansion and have a big car and want for nothing. Why should I live here?” Again she was told to take the matter up with the Master Builder. She then dreamed she was before the Master Builder and asked why the difference in buildings. The Master Builder looked her in the eye, and tears were in His, when He said; “Daughter, I can only build
with what you send up here for me to use.”
Luke tells us of the time that Jesus “Steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” Jesus is our best example, and Paul sets the course in his letter to the Philippians (3:13-14). Read this passage. In
both instances, both knew what lay ahead of them. One, Jesus, was the LEADER by LIFESTYLE and Paul, the follower of the Perfect Leader. Paul elaborates in Acts 20:24. Read this passage. Now, I call your attention to Colossians 4:17, where WE are told: “Say to Archippus (or John, or Sally or …), “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord that thou may fulfill it.”
Each of us is called to a LIFE and a LIFESTYLE to follow, a mission to complete, a path to walk on without straying. We need God and His indwelling power and strength to make it to the end, because it IS HARD! Praise God that you have been chosen to lead where many do not walk.
-Sonny P. Livingston
Computers For Christ – Chicago