Weekly Thought – April 5, 2016
Fred Smith Sr. and Bob Deffinbaugh (chair of the BWF Project board) talked much about leadership. Bob was the teaching elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, TX. When they chose elders and deacons, they considered men who were already leading and doing the work of the office. They believed strongly that you recognized those already leading – that you didn’t appoint men and make them leaders by title.
The 2016 BWFLI schedule is in full swing. The teams for our April schools are eager to be on the campuses of Lindsey Wilson College and Alice Lloyd College, both in Kentucky. Keep on praying. Month by month our BWFLI Prayer Network shares concerns for our Christian higher education institutions. You will receive prayer suggestions and thoughts from Brenda A. Smith, President of BWF, and Bob Deffinbaugh.
Not Just A Title
Some think they are leaders when they are not.
One of my executive friends was asked by his son, “Dad, what does it take to be a leader?” The man spent an hour struggling to reply and finally in desperation said, “Son, all it takes to be a leader is to have somebody follow you.” That is the best definition I know.
Followers – that is what leadership is all about. If people are not following you, you are not a leader. You may have the title, but that’s all.
I remember sitting in a city park at “Soapbox Corner.” All the eccentrics assembled to promote their ideas in public. One fellow attracted great crowds with his animated speech. I noticed another man who walked around the edges of the crowd muttering to himself. Also interested in the somewhat odd folks, I moved closer to hear what he was saying. “I came here to talk, not to listen!”
He was mad because people weren’t listening to him. His crowd moved from following him to the charismatic speaker. He felt frustrated because he thought himself entitled to be the talker…but the crowd thought differently.
We communicate only when people listen.
Often leaders don’t have the title. In a manufacturing plant, I’ve known many leaders of employees who were not in management. Their personality and influence gave them informal authority. They were natural leaders.
The major characteristic of a leader in an organization is the ability to turn subordinates into followers. People can be subordinates by definition – by placement on a organizational chart, or membership roll. But they alone must decide to be followers.
Think week think about: 1) When I turn around is anyone following? 2) What do I need to be an effective leader? 3) How do I avoid leaning on the title and work on true leadership?
Words of Wisdom: “We communicate only when people listen.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17 NET Bible)