What is Leadership? Leadership is first and foremost influence. When you look over history, you will find People like Hitler, Churchill. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, who were all great leaders. Not all of them were great people, but they had a way of drawing the masses into their way of thinking.
Of those people listed here, the one who intrigues me the most is Adolph Hitler. If there ever was a political mad man, he was one. However, with all of his error, he was able to lead the masses of Germany into his way of thinking. He was able, with his mindset of madness, to convince them, that murderous mayhem was the necessary means of creating a better and stronger Germany.
So, leadership is influence. How a person uses that influence is the proof of that persons character. Some even in church arenas, have used their influence of people for their own self gratification. Their own self-preservation. And their own agendas. This is not Godly or Spiritual Leadership, however it is Leadership.
Regardless of the result of your effect on a person’s life, whom you have influence over, you are ultimately leading them. It may be your children. It may be the people who work for you or are under you in a corporation or church. It may be the kids in your Youth Group. Or it may be the people you Minister to in your local church.
I recognize the effect of my father’s leading in my life growing up as a child. For years, my father was an alcoholic. He beat his wife. He neglected his children. He abandoned his post of fatherhood, yet he was, with all of his silence in my life, leading and influencing me. Who I would become as a man, was being formed by a person who, for the most part of my childhood, was absent.
How did that effect my character? It taught me that you could walk away from the important responsibilities of life. Self indulgence and gratification were more important than the needs of those who depend on me. His leading taught me that when someone didn’t agree with my way of thinking, it was ok to force my will on them regardless if they were right or wrong. Whatever amount of force or ill treatment was necessary to over power their way of thinking, it was acceptable.
Had it not been for the Church and the effects of many good men in my life, I’m sure I would have followed my father’s way of Leading people.
Someone once preached a message. I would love to have it in text. It was entitled “The Silence Of A Man.”. The sermon spoke of the effect on peoples lives by the silence of the father figure in their home. I believe that we should also consider our own silence. Not only in our homes, but in our churches, our communities and in our government. When we say nothing we are saying something. When we see our society falling to gross immorality and we fail to preach against it in our pulpits, we are saying to our congregants that immorality is ok. We allow them to think that it’s the acceptable norm in our social order.
Influence. How should we use it? When do we use it? These are the questions we answer as we lead people. These are the questions we must ask our selves as ministers. When we realize that we have influence in a persons life, we must use that influence to convert them. We must use that influence to correct them. We must use that influence to bring that person to a better understanding of their purpose.
While there are those who would use their influence and their leadership for their own gain. I am confident that there are others who would use that same influence to effect people for the greater good. How we use our influence is a reflection of our character. It tells who we really are.