The Defining Characteristic of Authentic Leadership

  • 3 December 2015
  • Randy Wollf

Character is the defining characteristic of authentic leadership (quote by Thomas Sergiovanni)

“As a leader, the greatest gift you give people is who you are becoming in Christ. People follow you for who you are more than what you do.” 

Dallas Willard

I am learning that others will often follow me because they see something inside of me that they appreciate. Wayne Cordeiro has said, "You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are." 

As Christian leaders, we want to reproduce qualities that reflect God. In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul tells us how we can bear that kind of fruit: "Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." 

Following God's exemplary character helps us to grow in godliness and reproduce those character qualities in others. Yet, what does it mean to follow God’s example?

It means to love others because God is love. Jesus' willingness to die on the cross speaks of his love for the Father and us, as well. Following in Jesus' footsteps involves a moment-by-moment lifestyle of sacrificial love.

It means to be holy even as God is holy. Today, the word "integrity" catches something of what it means to be holy. As Christ followers, we strive to be beyond reproach―to live consistently according to the high standards outlined in Scripture.

God's example of justice sets a standard for us to act justly and to love mercy. As we pattern our lives after God's justice, we will treat others more fairly. We will seek to help the oppressed and change systems of oppression. 

God's wisdom inspires us to seek wisdom; to pursue it at all costs. How can we make the best decisions as leaders without God's wisdom? In Proverbs, we learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. As we submit ourselves to the Lord, He will help us make wise choices―something that affects every aspect of our lives.

Following God's example also means being humble. Jesus set an example of humility when he washed his disciples' feet. This was a task well beneath Jesus, a rabbi and teacher in Israel. Yet, his example calls us to serve others humbly regardless of our position and status. 

Living Out Our Calling in the Face of Fear

  • 12 September 2014
  • Randy Wollf

Walt Disney Quote - "It's Kind of Fun to do the Impossible."When we follow God’s leading in our lives, we will often encounter challenges and face opposition. The Jews whose hearts God had moved to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple were afraid of the people around them (Ezra 3:3). Yet, despite their fear, they built an altar to God and offered sacrifices on it. They had responded in obedience to God’s call and were prepared to follow His leading in the face of fear. We, too, can experience this kind of courage as we follow God and His plans for us. There is something powerful about knowing that we are doing what God wants that emboldens us to attempt the difficult and even what looks impossible. Besides, as Walt Disney was known to say, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

God Moving Hearts

  • 23 June 2014
  • Randy Wollf

If God brings you to it, he will bring you through itThe Israelites languished in captivity until the day when God moved the heart of their captor king, the mighty King Cyrus of Persia (Ezra 1). At the Lord’s prompting, Cyrus proclaimed that the Israelites could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Not only did God move the king’s heart, he also stirred the hearts of some of the Jews to seize this amazing opportunity.

As a part of God moving his heart, Cyrus instructed the neighbours of those returning to Jerusalem to provide them with silver, gold, goods and livestock. Pretty sweet! However, Cyrus wasn’t finished yet. He also brought out items that a previous king had taken from the temple and gave them to the temple-building entourage.

Through His movement in peoples’ hearts, God opened up a way for the Jews to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

I am so glad that God stirs us and others to action. I am excited about how God might move in my heart and the hearts of those around me today.

Lord, help me to hear your voice. Grant me the courage to act on your nudges. Thank you that when you bring us to something, you will also bring us through it. My life is yours. Amen.