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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Sacrifices of Leadership

From Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders, from Chapter 15.

To aspire to leadership in God's kingdom requires us to be willing to pay a price higher than others are willing to pay. The toll of true leadership is heavy, and the more effective the leadership, the higher it goes...

SELF-SACRIFICE
This part of the cost must be paid daily. A cross stands in the path of spiritual leadership, and the leader must take it up. 'Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers' (1John 3:16). To the degree the cross of Christ is across our shoulders and over our backs, so the resurrection life of Christ is manifest through us. No cross, no leadership.

Jean said:

Lord, I can remember the years I spent behind the administrator's desk at the Christian school. Yes, there was a price to be paid. I loved that job, and the constituents. I loved the children and their parents and grandparents. I dearly loved the staff who worked with me. But there was a price to be paid and I was the one You called to pay it.

Yes, there was sacrifice. Inadequate salary, not enough time for the ministry AND my family, lack of sleep, loss of friends over decisions, accepting responsibility for my decisions (with humility for the good ones, and humiliation for the bad ones).

Then there was the loneliness. You know, the "boss" can't be close friends with any of the staff. And the "boss" can't hang with staff outside the office. My position was rather unique. I was the only female on the church staff of 12-15 men. I couldn't be included in their "fellowship," and I didn't fit in with the staff wives in their fellowship. But that worked out pretty good, Father, because I never had the time nor the energy to do much "fellowshipping" anyway. :-)

Answering Your call to leadership was, at times, expensive for me and my family.

But You always made it worth the price, Lord. s a matter of fact You're still paying huge dividends on those sacrifices we made.

Like the young boy's bread on the mountain where Jesus taught, You've multiply those sacrifices into baskets of blessings.

God said:

You stepped into a new role of leadership this past year, Little One. So, remember the lessons you learned the first time around. Like the man said, "No cross, no leadership."

And remember that I'll always be with you. I'll always get up under that cross with you. And remember that, when you stand alone, I'll be standing with you. When you stand exhausted, I'll be right there holding you up.

Every investment you make in this new venture will be worth it when you stand with Me in eternity. I give you My Word on it.

And I always keep My Word.