Your calling isn’t just a career path . . . it’s a calling from heaven! Even though our society admires exceptional achievements and inspiring success stories, we ought to value the right things. The most important aspect of our leadership journey isn’t necessarily how much we accomplish for God, but who we are becoming.
As we strive to achieve our goals, we must remember these fundamental principles:
* Heart attitude matters. Ultimately, leadership is an issue of the heart. As Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.” The heart will either keep us on course or take us off course.
* Timing matters. God has His due season and appointed time for things. And no matter how diligently we plan, set goals, and develop strategies, we can’t twist God’s arm. Our due dates are often wildly different from His appointed times. But this is no cause for discouragement or disappointment! Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “Let us not grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
* Character matters. “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3). We must ensure there isn’t a disparity between our inner and outer selves. People are searching for integrity and authenticity, and leadership requires character!
* Trusting God matters. God sets every member of the body in the place He sees fit. Remember when Samuel was going to anoint the new King of Israel? Samuel believed Eliab was the one, while Jesse thought any of his other sons were the ones, but God had chosen David (1 Samuel 16). In the same way, God knows where you belong. Trust that when God marks you, everyone else might get it wrong, but He will exalt you when the time is right. If you force yourself into a position that God has not meant for you, eventually the weight of it will crush you. Let divine destiny propel you forward, not selfish ambition!
So be a faithful steward of the gifts, talents, and callings that God has given you. But also commit yourself to building His kingdom rather than your own empire.
By remaining faithful, you’ll find yourself living a passionate, purpose-driven life . . . a lifelong adventure empowered by God Himself!
The Rev. Xavier L. Thompson is the pastor of Southern St. Paul Church in Los Angeles and Pacioma. He is also the president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California.