The Next Chapter
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, in chapter 2, verse 10, tells us that we are God’s workmanship and He has prepared work for us to do. If any of us are to be Purposeful Leaders, discovering that work is of paramount importance. I have always told my boys and colleagues, “If you find your passion, you will never work a day in your life.” The thought was that if you are doing what you love, getting up in the morning and working hard will not seem like work. I will now expand that sentiment to include, “and if you find the work God has prepared for you, which should be your passion.”
As leaders, we should help those around us discover God’s planned work for them and show them that this passion is the best use of their time. This is mentorship. Teaching others that this work is valuable, won’t always be easy, but it is rewarding and delivers a perpetual challenge to the leader invested in others. This is what Christ identified as doing unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matthew 7:12). One of many academic references would be Rodin’s (2010) writings on being stewards of our relationships with our neighbors. These “neighbors” include our colleagues at work and include “humbly serving our neighbors, valuing our relationships as ends and not means, embracing sacrifice and the ministry of presence, and glorifying in the triumphs of others” (Rodin, p. 93). What a great example of Christ’s purposeful leadership!
This post opens up many discussions that I will expand upon in coming posts. First, the importance of our ministry and representing or re-presenting Christ to others. This is the first and most important commandment. We love God when we obey Him, and part of obeying Him is to love Him so much that we tell others about Him first. Then, we love others before ourselves. This is the steward leader’s role. Secondly, we will unpack a steward leader versus the other types of leaders and leadership. Finally, we will discuss the importance of communication as a steward leader. This involves the willingness to provide accurate, truthful, and frequent communication with those we lead. Communication that compassionately tells them what they need to know, perhaps not what they want to hear.
Since starting this post, I have retired after 40 years in health care, completed a doctorate, and, most importantly, dug into scripture and God’s purpose for my life. I have found that sharing His Word, the good news of Christ, is the most important part of my ministry. Teaching others how to lead and about history is secondary. I would love to share the journey with all of you.
Rodin, R. S, (2010). The steward leader: Transforming people, organizations and communities. InterVarsity Press.