**I started a new seminary class this week called “The Life of a Leader”. This is my post for our first discussion board post.
Today is the first anniversary of the death of Dr. Jerry Falwell, considered by many to be a leading voice in Christianity for many years. In the past year, many people have shared stories of how Jerry influenced their lives. Most of them talked about different ways that they observed him interacting with his wife or with his three children. Many LU students spoke fondly of Jerry’s presence at campus events and the time he took to get to know each student’s story. People followed his example of a leader because they knew he followed Christ. He was the epitome of I Corinthians 11:1, “Follow me as I follow the example of Christ.”
All of the verses and passages that we read spoke very clearly to the fact that God has a specific purpose and plan for our lives. I have the privilege of being held accountable to leading everyday by 972 students age 4-18. I am the Dean of Students at a Christian School and am constantly reminded of the informal curriculum. I stand up in front of groups, classes, meetings all the time to talk to people about things. However, I recognize that the biggest impact I’ll ever be able to make for Christ in the lives of our students is the way that I live my life in front of them. They will learn about Ethics in the class that I teach, but their choices will be most influenced by the way that I behave at a basketball game or the movies that I choose to go and see.
I am always encouraged by the life of Daniel. He is one of my favorite Bible characters because he did not compromise. He was given a choice between what was right and what was easy and every time he chose what was right and God honored that and rewarded Him. I love reading Daniel 6 after Daniel was rescued from the Lion’s Den. Here is the passage spoken by the king that threw him to the lions…”25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land:”May you prosper greatly! 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.”For he is the living God and he endures forever;his kingdom will not be destroyed,his dominion will never end. 27 He rescues and he saves;he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”
There are many leaders who stand up and say they are Christians, but they continue to rely on their own strength and their own talents. Those leaders are usually short-lived. The ones who are really running hard after Christ are the ones who have a chance to make a difference.
As a young adult, my youth pastor told me that while I am running hard after Christ I should occasionally look to my left and right. If I consistently see others running hard after Christ alongside me, those are the people I should allow to influence my life and hold me accountable to the things that God has called me to.
I also love the life of Stephen that we read about in Acts 6. In following Christ, a leader will face opposition and conflict. The true test of a leader is how they respond in those times. Acts 6:10 said “they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” My prayers as a leader is that people will never become enamored with me, but instead always be drawn closer to Christ.
I know that I am not promised tomorrow, but I do know that God is holding me accountable to the way I lead today. A leader’s life is important because the way I live my life may be the only picture of Christ that someone sees.