Matters of Faith: Rising to Your Leadership Potential

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

‭‭Romans 2:28-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”

‭There are no born leaders. Leadership is not a birthright. Leadership is a process and leaders are developed. To one degree or another, everyone has leadership ability, but it must be cultivated and nurtured if it is to reach its full potential. ‬

This Pauline text found in the second chapter of Romans, was addressed to an audience of both Jews and Gentiles. Paul writes about the true Jew, the one who fulfills the law from the heart, not the one who is Jewish by birth or tradition. Paul argues that those born Jewish are not truly Jewish, if they do not keep the Mosaic Law. Since they were chosen by birth, Jews could easily take for granted, that their leadership role in the kingdom of God was already set. Paul argues that they were mistaken. They needed to know that their favored position puts them in line for leadership — but all leaders are in need of cultivation and nurture in order to fulfill their potential as leaders. They are no exceptions.

Their preparation had to help them to understand that leaders must recognize the first order of business: Leadership is a servant’s position.

In the arena of Christianity, leaders are first servants of the Lord, then servants to the people. In this arena, there are four areas of leadership that are required. The first is loving and caring for those they are leading. Second is responsibility for developing good and faithful followers, first of the Lord, then to the them as leaders. Third is being responsible for equipping those they lead to be leaders themselves. The fourth and final requirement of leadership is empowering your followers. True leaders help their followers to identify their gifts, their talents and their skills, then affirms, believes, and encourages them to use their new-found gifts to lead others.

Robert Townsend said, “A leader is a person with a magnet in his heart and a compass in his head.” In other words, real leadership is built on love and will go wherever he or she is needed. This is the most important part of leadership. When Jesus sent out His disciples, He told them that they ought to love one another. He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭KJV‬‬).

No one can teach love, but it has to be learned because it is the authentic expression of the leadership identity. It creates value in the minds and hearts of those who are following their lead. Once understood and personified, love pushes leadership to rise to its full and true potential. I pray that you all will become the leader you were created to be and rise to the full potential of your leadership.

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book at cash.me/$Mattersoffaith.

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