Our world is crying out for better leadership in all spheres of life–government, church, schools, NGOs, you name it.
What is really needed, though? Do our existing leaders lack knowledge? wisdom? sophistication? skills? diplomacy? humility? courage? faith?
There’s obviously not one answer that fits every leader, and the list of how any individual leader could grow may be endless–having room for personal and professional growth is part of what it means to be human.
But something fundamental needs to change that applies to every leader–for the sake of the Church, our society, and our world. That something is how we understand who we are and why we are alive in this world at all. The more leaders could see themselves as precious children of God, created to experience the love of God and live out their calling in love, the more leaders would be able to function powerfully and effectively–the more leaders would be capable of meeting the incredible challenges in today’s world.
When I say experience the love of God, I mean having a sense of loving embrace by God. For some the experience may come as a gentle calling of their name; for others, there will be an overwhelming conviction that they are being called to bend their knee to their Creator. In the dynamic relationship that is formed, there is acceptance, forgiveness, submission, and cooperation. There is release, joy, lightness of being, and love. There is life.
When I say live out their calling in love, I mean leaders will see all that they do as an opportunity to bring God’s love to bear on their sphere of influence. There will be justice, compassion, mercy, and intelligent systems that serve the people well. There will be courage, strength, and a fierce opposition to any force that seeks to undermine the good of the people. Leaders will value life, preserve life, and promote the fullest expression of life.
What we need, then, are leaders who see themselves first and foremost as spiritual leaders. They value their relationship with God above all else, and then see their vocation as an outgrowth of their spiritual life. More, they both consciously and subconsciously draw on God as the wellspring for their entire life.
Leaders today need many skills, abilities and resources to lead effectively. But, in my opinion, the greatest lack is spiritual depth and vitality.