I’ve been eating grits for breakfast almost every day since I was a kid. Grits were likely among the first solid foods I ate as a baby! I can confidently say, “I LOVE grits!” But until my recent visit to Zimbabwe to train pastors and church leaders February 27-March 5, 2016, I have never had grits three times every day! Yea that’s right. Grits for breakfast! Grits for lunch! Grits for supper! As much as I love grits, having them three times each day was a real stretch for my spoiled palate!
I was there to invest in forty-two Pastors and church leaders from several denominations. They ranged in age from 24 to 77. Our conference center for the week was on a mountain near the city of Masvingo, about a four-hour drive from Harare, the capitol of Zimbabwe.
As I reflect upon that journey, I am more convinced than ever that:
1. Everything rises or falls on leadership.
The people of Zimbabwe (Once known as the “bread-basket of Africa”) are suffering because of egocentric and corrupt government leadership. Good leadership is not supposed to be self-serving. Good leadership is designed to strengthen and add value to the people being served. The leader exists to serve, not to be served! The people have a better or worse life because of their leader.
Do the people you lead feel blessed or cursed to have you as their leader? Do they feel “lucky” or “unlucky” to have you?
2. Good leaders hunger to become great leaders, and they can if they’re willing to learn, grow, and change.
I watched as this diverse group of church leaders invested in five days of rigorous training to become better. Their hunger and openness to learn, grow, and change was inspiring. Their investment WILL take them to a new level of effectiveness.
Do you hunger to move from good to great or from ineffective to effective? Are you investing in yourself to become better? How?
3. Effective leadership is grounded in a good set of core values.
Establish the right core values and effective leadership will be the result. I am often asked, “What do you teach when you do these leadership conferences internationally?” I teach a curriculum from the International Leadership Institute built around Eight Core Values for Christian leaders. ALL long-term effective Christian leaders have a life built around these values. They are:
- Intimacy with God
- A Passion for the Harvest
- Biblical Leadership (Spiritual, Servant, Transformational)
- Multiplication / Mobilization of People
- Culturally Relevant Evangelism
- Family Priority
Are these values your values? If not, why not?
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