Browsing: Biblical Leaders

Leadership Is… Demonstrated by Christ #301

Jesus showed his disciples the full extent of his love.

In Christ’s day walking was the mode of transportation. Think about it. Sandals, sand and dirt under the hot sun would be very uncomfortable. A long day of walking, talking and teaching would leave your feet sore, dirty, sweaty and probably smelly. According to the culture of the day, when guests came to visit, especially if a meal was involved, the host was expected to provide a servant or slave to wash your feet. The service was expected and appreciated by the guest. However, from the servant’s perspective, kneeling in silence and washing feet was considered to be the lowliest of the lowly tasks.

Christ the master, the teacher, knowing his crucifixion was eminent took the role of the servant. Christ also knew he would be denied by Peter and betrayed by Judas. Yet, as an act of service, “Having loved His own who were in the world, he loved them to the end”. (John 13:1 NIV) Christ challenged the tradition and culture of the day. Christ, the teacher, God’s beloved Son, took on the role of the servant and washed His disciples’ feet.

We have traditions in our culture as well. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘that’s not the way we do it around here’. In our day, at work or church we have habits and unwritten rules. For some it is the style of music, for others it is the arrangement of the furniture in the sanctuary. Others have a command and control leadership style borrowed from a failing secular model. Some feel a particular style of dress is required to worship in the church while others argue and debate whether a church should provide a service to a neighboring community.

These are traditions and habits. Christ challenged the traditions of the day by showing a caring and humble attitude demonstrating his love to His disciples.

Christ demonstrated His love for His followers, by washing their feet. I’m not recommending you follow suit. However, it only makes sense that the church leader, Pastor, or corporate CEO would use Christ’s example to challenge traditional habits to demonstrate his love for his people.

Leadership is … showing the people you lead, the full extent of your love for Christ.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… A Personal Relationship With God #293

The Christian Servant Leader has a personal relationship with God. Like the men and women of the Bible, “Enoch walked faithfully with God”. (Genesis 5:22 NIV) “Noah found favor is the eyes of the Lord”. (Genesis 6:8 NIV) The Lord spoke to Moses “Face to face, as a man speaks to a friend”. (Exodus 33:11 NIV) “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart”. (Acts 13:22 NIV) “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people”. (1 Samuel 13:14 NIV) We need to be like the disciples, they didn’t follow a position, they followed Christ, “They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way”. (Mark 10:32 NIV) The Christian Servant Leader has a personal relationship with Christ. “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”. (1 John 5:11-12 NIV)

The Christian Servant Leader exudes love and care through the heart characteristics of faith, patience and a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. These heart characteristics are modeled outwardly through caring, service, prayer and a continual love for God’s word. The very first step in developing a personal relationship with Christ is to accept his gift, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16 NIV)

God is still looking for men and women after his own heart; individuals who have a personal relationship with Christ. People of faith, trust and love who are willing to give their lives in service.

A relationship, like a friendship, goes both ways. “Jesus cultivated extraordinary relationships with his followers. He invested deeply in others and personally attended to people and dedicated himself to meeting their needs…and encourage an atmosphere of openness, accountability and equity.” (Angie Mays, Courteous Rebel Jesus’ Model of Leadership)

As a Christian Servant Leader, do you cultivate extraordinary relationships with your followers? As you share your personal relationship with Christ, others will follow your lead.

Leadership is, people seeing Christ in you.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is… Shepherding #288

Eagles fly solo to an altitude of 10,000 feet. With excellent eyesight they can see up to five kilometres. Horses are strong, trainable, can work alone, in pairs or lead effectively. Sheep herd, prefer to be together, need direction and get upset easily.

All of our churches have a few eagle leaders. They are the independent thinkers. They are comfortable in a variety of situations. They know what they believe, what their spiritual gifts are and are willing lead us into a Kingdom focused future.

Our churches also have work horse leaders.  These individuals know their skills, are willing to learn new ideas and when motivated and encouraged will work in a team.

Our churches also have sheep. These are the quality, dedicated people who are comfortable and relaxed in a variety of group settings. They respond to a volunteer request as they feel skilled, involved and accepted.

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon son of John, do you love me more than these? Yes, Lord, he said, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Feed my lambs. Again Jesus said, Simon son of John, do you love me? He answered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Take care of my sheep. The third time he said to him, Simon son of John, do you love me? Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time. Do you love me? He said, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said, Feed my sheep”. (John 21:15-17 NIV)

An effective God directed leader cares about all the people and their unique skills and needs. The scriptural example is to lay down our lives for the sheep. Whether, characterized as the Eagle, the work horse or the sheep, they are all valuable and the priority is those who are lost.

“The truth is that the church will grow automatically when a Kingdom focus is exercised by your church members.” (Kent Humphreys, Shepherding Horses)

Leadership is, finding and caring for every lost individual.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Mentoring And Being Mentored #287

A mentor is a wise and trusted counsellor. Some mentors are formal, others casual. The “Mentoring discipline comes from the same root word as disciple.  Disciple means to teach or to train.” (Hunter, James C. The World’s most Powerful Leadership Principle) Each of us are challenged to choose a faith focused mentor to lead and guide.

I have the very unique privilege of having four mentors. I worked for three of them in their various Board Chair roles and the other is a very trusted friend.  They are each Christian Leaders, active in their churches and successful in their families and careers. All our discussions are scripturally based with the prayerful goal to be more effective, Christ-like Servant Leaders. We pray, share, learn from the books we read, the speakers we listen to and those we have consulted with. The best part is we learn from each other.

“The best leadership training program ever designed was a day-by-day mentoring, in which twelve students watched their Leader and then did what he did.”

Kevin A. Miller Leadership Journal

Note this fascinating illustration and paraphrase of the power of Christ’s mentoring. “The church in Jerusalem grew overnight from about 120 to 3,000. (Acts 2:41 NLT) Soon the number of men in the Jerusalem church had grown to about 5,000, so with women and children, the total was up to 15,000 or so. (Acts 4:4 NLT) After that, the number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem. (Acts 6:7 NLT) All the explosive growth took place without a single building program.” (Ray Bowman & Eddy Hall, When Not to Build An Architect’s Unconventional Wisdom for the Growing Church).

Scripture tells us to: “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV)

Take a minute to think and pray for those who mentor you.  What have you learned? What are their qualifications and why did you choose them to be your mentors? Then, take another minute and ask yourself who looks to you as a mentor.  Why did they choose you and what are you teaching them?

Leadership is being a mentor and receiving mentorship from a trusted friend.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Realizing We Are Broken Mortals #281

The Boy

Before they left, they gathered supplies. Tools, firewood, and provisions for the journey. The young boy watched the preparation. His family gathered the things they would need, lashing them to the animals for the trip. His people had moved before, some would say often. City to city, town to town. Moving to where there is food, or work, or relatives, but the boy had never been anywhere but here. Today he would see. Today he would be traveling with the adults.

He had his own pack to carry. His mom had packed up some berries, dried meat and bread. They were heading off on a three day journey. The boy wondered if they would make him walk the whole way? He wondered if he could walk the whole way. He determined at that moment that he would do whatever was asked of him. It was a privilege to be a part of this journey.

The man looked at his son, with his pack. He struggled to keep his emotions at bay. It was going to be a long journey for the boy. They would have to keep up their pace or this journey would take a week. There would be some amazing things for him to see. Sunsets, rivers to cross, hills to climb. Enough adventure to keep his young mind occupied. There would be campfires and stargazing. Camping in crazy places with the sound of wild animals just beyond the reaches of firelight.

Like all Fathers, he wondered to himself. What will we talk about? Will he have questions I can’t answer? Should I be looking for ways to fill the long hours? What wisdom do I hold that could hold his attention? I am a simple man. My whole life has been rather dull. There was that one time, maybe that’s not a story for him yet.

The boy stood as they gathered at the edge of town. It was the time for goodbyes and hugs. He thought to himself, Mom’s hug seems especially long. She is crying a lot. Why didn’t she hug Father? She didn’t even look at him. Girls are weird, I’m never getting married.

With that thought, he turned and began the journey.

An excerpt from Broken Mortals: A Journey of Hope, by Rev. Chet Kennedy

Leadership is seeing God at work in us as broken mortals.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is A Healthy Leader #280

Remember Caleb and Joshua? Moses sent them into the Promised Land with a task force of other leaders. Their assignment was to explore the land, to check the people, see if the cities were walled or fortified and check out the soil. Does the land have trees and please bring back some samples of the fruit. The explorers returned from the Promised Land and shared the bountiful harvest and incredible opportunities in the land. They brought reports and samples of fruit and the bountiful harvest. “They cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs.” (Numbers 13:23 NIV)

Scripture challenges us, just like Caleb and Joshua challenged the people.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)

Haggai encourages us to consider our ways (plans systems, activities) to see if they are working, “the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai. “Give careful thought to your ways!” (Haggai 1:3 + 7 NIV)

Paul tells us, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

We have churches, worship services, Bible studies, Devotional sessions and Life Group meetings all over our world. We have staff and volunteers who want to serve. Our community and world needs Christ. We are trained to introduce a person to a relationship with Christ.

“Leaders have incredible opportunity to impact lives. Build into people like they are on your team forever.”(Pat Gelsinger, H3 Leadership)

It is a special honour. We each have the best role in the world. We get to share with people wherever we live, travel and work. Let’s each demonstrate God’s love in everything we do this week.

Leadership is touching the lives of leaders in your community.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Mission #277

Your Vision statement defines where God wants you to be in the future. Your Mission statement, shows the process you use to accomplish the Vision. Think of it as the difference between a goal (the Vision) and the road map (the Mission).  The Vision is the ‘what we are here to do’. The Mission is ‘how we are going to do it’. We need both.

Nehemiah’s Vision could have been to bring revival to his people. Hence, his Mission could have been to teach and mobilize his people while building the wall. He encouraged teamwork, responsibility, hard work and set the stage for Ezra to teach.

Noah, could have had a Vision to change the world. Then, his Mission statement could have been to build the Ark saving his family and animals.

Joseph’s Vision could have been to save the people from famine. However, his Mission statement was to serve his Master by organizing and leading his kingdom.

God gave Moses a Vision of the Promised Land.  His mission was to lead his people out of Egypt and into their future.

God has a Vision for us, “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

Therefore, our Mission given by God could be, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Go ye into all the world, teach and baptize.” (Matthew 28:19 NIV)

The Vision and Mission work together providing the direction to your ‘North Star’ to guide, anchor and keep us focused. Getting a satellite into orbit requires hundreds of minor mid-flight course corrections to achieve the target. Once your Ministry has these prayerful foundation statements, it just takes minor changes to accomplish what God has in mind.

Our personal Mission statement for the Jethro Group is, ‘To influence our world strategically; by demonstrating God’s love, integrating family, church and the corporate world of business to a life of integrity, excellence and Servant Leadership’.

Demonstrating God’s love is an obvious.  The way I see it, you and I, need to demonstrate God’s love in everything we do.

Leadership is designing a Mission strategy to accomplish your Vision.

Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Learning from Nehemiah #242

Laurie Kennedy“Nehemiah was a man of prayer. He showed courage in the face of danger. He had genuine concern for the welfare of others. He exhibited keen foresight. He could make clear decisions. He was uncommonly empathetic. He was a realist. Nehemiah was a vigorous administrator, calm crisis manager, fearless initiator, a courageous decision maker, and a preserving leader. He was resolute in the face of threats and vigilant against treachery, a leader who won and held the full confidence of his followers. Nehemiah raised the morale of his colleagues.” (Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders)

I have the very unique privilege of praying, coaching, challenging and often crying with Pastors and Leaders. These leaders come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own unique skills and abilities. Nehemiah was a dramatic leader. He was able to motivate his people to accomplish results both in terms of manpower, motivation and construction. That’s great, we love it. But, if we could talk with Nehemiah, I believe his greatest vision and accomplishment was to bring revival to his people.  Nehemiah set a standard for all of us to emulate. The continual reminder for me and for all of us is to focus on those leadership skills that are biblical, God directed and designed to accomplish what God has in mind for our lives.

Praying with leaders as their organizations become healthy is awesome. Organizational change, system realignment and Vision Discovery sessions are necessary. However, as Nehemiah and Ezra pointed out, the goal is for each individual to re-direct their heart to God and then the organizational health will grow from there.

The responsibilities vary from small struggling church Pastors to Business Executives and Mission Directors working by faith to accomplish God’s vision.

Leadership is … praying for God’s vision and leading as we work towards personal and organizational revival.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Surviving Burnout #239

Laurie KennedyLeaders are burning out. Pastors, Elders, Leaders in Church and Business are crumbling under the weight of each succeeding wave. Leaders in the secular and Ministry world share increasing pressure and are caving in at an alarming rate. We look to consultants to fine-tune our skills, teach us new coping mechanisms and give us the rules and techniques to lead. Yet, our world is changing faster than we have time to write the rules.

We have seen and felt the burnout symptoms: irritability, restlessness, compulsive overworking, emotional numbness, frustration with people, feeling exhausted, the joy has disappeared. The fun is gone. No Attachment; the Vision has disappeared. We easily snap, lose our cool with friends, family or people in the church. We question our Calling and see slippage in our spiritual habits.

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.” (Exodus 18:17-22 NIV)

Our solution is not following the national papers, the periodicals or the multitude of email quotes and forwards that we all receive. The solution is to look to biblical leaders, learn from their successes and challenges, and then pray the Lord will fill our hearts with love, caring and dedication to serve on the job each and every day.

Leadership is … partnering, sharing and leading passionately, with your heart focused on God.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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Leadership Is Leading In The Valley #235

Laurie Kennedy“Leaders must themselves know the valley and how to deal with it. But the time will come when they must lead people, and even entire organizations, through the valley experience. Some leaders will inherit difficult circumstances and lead almost constantly through valleys. Nearly all leaders will have to do so at some point in their careers. These tools seem especially important for leaders whose people must traverse the valley.” (Shepherd Leadership by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport)

Leadership isn’t always fun. We often walk the valley noting the shadows of hurt, depression and issues of caring for those who follow. The pressure seems unending. As you walk these days, remember, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23 NIV)

Nehemiah, Moses and Paul all experienced the valley. David, as a shepherd, set the example and we, leaders of today and tomorrow, need to rely on God’s word and lead others as He is leading us.

Leadership is … following our Heavenly Father so others will follow us as we lead through the valley.

Yours in Service,

Laurie D. Kennedy
Leadership Coach
Jethro Group
ldkjethrogroup@gmail.com

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