Matters of Faith: Leadership Is Not For Wimps!

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Romans 12:8 NLT

I was blessed to be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony for the sixth graders and preschoolers at the Wake Eden Christian Academy in the Bronx. I had been blessed during their final semester at the school to teach a leadership course to the fifth and sixth graders. As a result of that involvement, I knew the entire graduating class.

The subject of my talk was easy to determine. Of the various gifts mentioned in the scripture, my focus was leadership. It was also the focus of our sessions. I wanted them to understand that leadership is a gift that takes effort to apply in life. Those leadership skills can be used through their middle school experience and throughout their lives if they choose to use them. The challenge is coming to the realization that the first person they will have to lead is themselves.

I also gave them some bullet points to remember:
• Nothing comes easy in leadership,
• Those who oppose you will outnumber those who stand with you,
• The rules of leadership change, and
• It takes someone special to be a leader.

Then I gave them bullet points for action:
• Leadership is marked by a strict moral code,
• Leadership is the ability to live your life in a way that everybody respects you,
• Leadership is about integrity. A real leader is good even when nobody is watching,
• A leader is a person who says what he mean and does what he says, and
• The best leaders were the best followers.

We must take our leadership role seriously. The scriptural text does not tell us how to do leadership, it tells us how to be leaders. It says that leaders lead with sincerity of heart. Leaders are also believers who understand it’s not just the lives, but the eternal souls of those who follow leadership that’s at stake. Leadership is not a role for wimps!

Each of those students who graduated on Friday will have to make adjustments in the application of their leadership ability. We, adults, also have to make adjustments. When you get to the next phase of your life, you may find out that you have to live your leadership role — and not simply talk about it. You might have to figure out how to use your gift in what might be hostile environments and in situations where there is already a leader present.

I concluded my talk to the graduates by challenging the sixth graders with a challenge I have heard my friend Bishop Darren Ferguson give countless times: “You owe us at, least four, but I’d prefer to see five more graduations — Junior High School, High School, College, Graduate School, and a Doctoral Program.”

Leadership is not for wimps!

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 Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book here (22.88, including shipping).

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