“What’s the best way to get there?”
I don’t know. Where’s there? You might think.
In leadership, you have to have a destination in mind. You need a vision. If you are going to help others, you have to get clarity on where we would like them to be.
However, once you have clarity on the vision, you can find clarity on the path. When you know where you want to go, you can begin to plan how to get there. That’s the second part of the leadership process.
A friend of mine was concerned about the direction of the youth in her town. Her own family had been touched by the scourge of drugs, and she had known many of her kids’ friends who had experienced the same problems. But she also believed that things could be different.
So, what could she do? She had a vision of kids having hope that would lead them away from drugs and other destructive behavior, but she had to think about the means. How would she help them get from where they were to where they could and should be. She discovered the story of Joseph Rojas, the lead singer of the Christian rock band Seventh Day Slumber. Rojas had been deep into drugs but had found hope in Christ that led him out of the deep hole he was in.
My friend started to wonder, could I bring him to our town? The cost of getting the whole band there was quite high. So, they offered to bring him to her town to do an acoustic set and then share his testimony. Even at the lower price, she had to raise the money to do it. Many times she thought she wouldn’t be able to do it, but eventually she raised all the money. Rojas came and later did come again with the whole band. He spoke to many of the youth my friend was concerned about.
However, my friend realized that one or two concerts was a good start, but they needed a long-term solution. So, she started dreaming about how to bring Young Life, a Christian ministry to teens, to her city. She got together with other like-minded people who shared her vision, and they started to bring together a team that would bring Young Life to the schools of her county. Eventually, they had a huge interest. They held a large event to raise money, and their efforts were successful. They were able to bring in a paid Young Life leader to start regular Young Life meetings in order to bring hope to their schools.
That’s how a vision helps us see the path. When we have a clear sense of where we want to go, the way to get there tends to open up.
Discerning the Path
Imagine someone said to you, “I want to be exactly what you think I should be. Just tell me what that is and how I can get there.” What would you tell them? Would you have anything to say?
If we are going to lead, we need to have something to say.
There’s nothing like teaching something to help you get clarity on something. I was working on a series on leadership, and I began to ask myself how clear I was on the destination and the path to help lead people forward. It forced me to think and grow.
One thing I desire to do is to help people develop strong faith in God. Once I realized that this was a big part of my vision, I started asking, how do I get people there? What will help them develop strong faith? Here’s how the path opened up for me.
1. They need to know what God is like and what He will do for them. The Psalms are a good place to start. Psalms such as 23, 33, 98, 103, and 146 give us a vision of what God is like and what He will do. We can add to this some other passages of the Bible such as Matthew 6:25-33, Romans 8:28-39, Ephesians 1, Philippians 4, and 2 Peter 1. These are just a few examples of passages that can fill our hearts and minds with a vision of who God is and how He is involved in daily life.
2. They need to learn to trust God when times are tough. When we go through trials and experience God’s presence with us and how He helps us in them and out of them, then it increases our faith. It also leads us to pray and seek God for what we need, which also increases our faith.
3. They need to do things that require faith. When we reach out to do things on God’s agenda, such as helping the “least of these,” then, we rely on God more to do things that we could not do in ourselves. This develops faith.
4. They need to give thanks when things are good. We need to not just pray when times are bad. We learn to give thanks when times are good. This gives us a sense of God’s goodness and provision for us that increases our faith.
5. They need to re-think life in God’s terms. God has a perspective on business, marriage, relationships, money, recreation, nature, etc. When we think about how God views these things, it changes our perspective and increases our faith.
This is just an example of how a vision of developing faith in people can lead to the means for the development of faith. Without asking the question of where people are, where they could and should be, and how they get there, we will not have the tools to act.
Once we have clarity in our minds, then how do we help people walk on that path? That’s what I’ll consider in my next posts. Do you have an example of leadership lessons that you have learned? Share it in the comments below. To get the next posts delivered to your email, scroll down or look at the column on the right hand side of the article to subscribe to this blog. You can also like us on Facebook. Just look up weswhite.net.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it will be a blessing to you.