I recently attended a conference for a portion of our staff that serve in the cities of America. We are currently reorienting our vision around city transformation. It was a rich time of honest interaction about change and our need to be better mobilizers of what God has called us to do. In the midst of our time together one of my mentors and friends, David English, shared some very insightful priorities for every person attempting to successfully engage in the mission. I thought they were quite profound and wanted to share them with you.
1. My character is more important than my competency. I have commented on this principle many times. Character is tantamount, no matter what our culture says. We can tend to place greater emphasis on leadership competencies than on our integrity. But competency will never cover for bad character.
2. My godliness is more important than my giftedness. I am always concerned when I see young leaders rise in prominence based largely on their giftedness. Usually this valued giftedness revolves around gifted communication-either of the vision or of the Scriptures. But when this giftedness is not enveloped in a growing godliness it could set up for great fall of pride.
3. Who I am in Christ is more important than any scope of ministry I may have been given, any position I may have attained, or any task that I may perform. Ultimately our true identity is in Christ. It is so easy to base our identity on our scope of ministry, our title or position, or the monumental task before us. But these are impostors and serve us poorly as building blocks of identity. God is responsible for the breadth of our ministries. We must see ourselves as recipients and transmitters of the grace of Christ. Nothing more, nothing less.
4. Who I am is more important than what I do. Being over doing is a cornerstone to making it to the finish line. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I have decided it is very hard to finish well as a leader for the cause of Christ. It is easy to list those who have not. It takes great determination and a view of self that realizes the importance of being over doing.
What are your thoughts on these four principles? What else seems important to you as a leadership priority?
David has written much on the stages of a man’s life. His insights are life changing. If you would like to know more here is a web link.