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I had a great conversation yesterday with a guy I’ve know since he was in high school with one of our daughters. His family owns a small chain of hardware stores which I usually patronize rather than the typical big box stores that are so prevalent these days. He has gone through some re-modeling of the stores the past several months and we got into a discussion on leadership, training new staff, expansion and the ordinary issues that come with normal growth.

Now that’s a conversation that I love to have. After all, I have a PhD. in Organizational Leadership and Team Dynamics in addition to my advanced degrees in ministry areas. I was intrigued by some of the things that he mentioned to me. Apparently, he has read a number of books on leadership and is trying to determine his “process” for how he wants to lead his employees into the future. He mentioned a number of the things he has read and asked for my opinion on his plans to emulate others.

Now I admit that in most areas I am something of a contrarian. And I love to approach the topic of leadership from a biblical perspective rather than the ways of the world and all these “experts” who write books on the way we should lead. And to think that many of volumes are best sellers – unbelievable. Because if people would just read the Bible, they would realize that they already have the greatest leadership book ever written.

The truth of the matter is that God created each of us uniquely. We each have a passion, style and spiritual gifting that God designed for us when we were created by Him. Therefore, no two of us are exactly the same, like fingerprints. We are all different from one another and each of us has a specific mission to accomplish in accordance with God’s will for our lives. When a leader emerges, it should be the result of a careful compilation of strengths and weaknesses that can be identified. Each of us, when in our glory, should lead as if we have been given a custom set of clothes – made especially for us. They wouldn’t fit, or even look good, on anyone else. That’s because none of us can be replicated and most of us have been in situations when each time there is a change in leadership, many other things change as well. Of course, that is to be expected. So leadership looks different for everyone – no two leaders exactly the same!

Logically, that means that what works for one of us won’t necessarily work for the next person. And that means that there is no universal process for leaders to follow in pursuit of excellence. Since God gifted each of us as individuals, our leadership styles have to be the result of identifying our passion, gifts and styles; and then leveraging those traits to become the best leaders that we can be. Of course, that only happens if we have been gifted with the spiritual gift of leadership.

There are approximately twenty three various spiritual gifts. It is my experience that each of us has two or three gifts that are particularly strong. And no gifts are better or worse than others, although some, such as leadership, are more easily identifiable. What Paul says about leadership leads us to our verse for tonight. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, tells us in Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

So Paul lets us know that in leadership, being diligent means that steadfastness, earnest and energetic traits are important, according to God. My encouragement this evening is that God chooses some of us to be leaders  and with that responsibility comes the imperative to rule with diligence. My prayer is that for each of us, our spiritual gifts will be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit and we will use our gifts, whatever they are, to the glory of God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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