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Celebrating 30 Years of March Retreat, Devotion #1

We hope by now you have received your 30-Day Devotional Guide created by your Flourish Committee. If you haven't, we may not have a correct address for you. You can find a printable pdf version of the Devotional on our website or at Over the next several months, we will be posting each devotional on our blog as well, helping us to celebrate this milestone throughout the year. Today's blog post commemorates the first year of the March Retreat.

#1 1992 Speakers: Beth Seversen & Vicki Fleming

Leaders of Excellence

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

~Ephesians 5:1 (NAS)~

Do you consider yourself a leader? Most people don’t. And yet, when asked if they view us as a leader, family members or friends quickly answer with an enthusiastic “Yes!” How is it possible to have these two opposing viewpoints?

Crack open any dictionary, and you’ll find similar definitions to this, “One who leads or guides. One who is in charge or command of others.” Examples of a leader might include a policeman, a teacher, or a manager. Yet, being a leader does not require that you have a title. Many leaders influence others without a title in front of their name. Surprisingly, some leaders don’t officially supervise anyone, and yet, they have tremendous influence. I find that synonyms for words can provide us with a fuller comprehension of that word. In this instance, “to influence” also refers to having leverage, making an impact, or inspiring.

So how does this help us in determining what a leader is? We usually focus on who’s following us. But being a leader might even be more about who we are following—who we are modeling ourselves after—than who follows us. While this is contrary to the current social media culture’s way of life, it rings true for those who follow Jesus Christ.

A Definition of Biblical Leadership

I recently discovered Mike Ayer’s book, Power to Lead: Five Essentials for the Practice of Biblical Leadership. The following is an excerpt from it and concisely captures the heart of a biblical leader:

“Biblical leadership is distinctly different from that described and defined by the world. The distinctions above help Christian leaders understand the unique way the Bible describes one person’s influence upon another, the motivation behind that influence, the eventual outcome of that influence, and the source of power to guide and sustain that influence. This is biblical leadership!”

Mike describes a biblical leader as a person of character and competence who influences a community of people to achieve a God-honoring calling through the power of Christ. At the heart of leadership are two core foundational ingredients: character and competency. Character refers to our integrity, motive, and intent=trustworthiness. Competence refers to our capabilities, skills, and knowledge=respect.

Ideally, both are essential in leaders. But, if I ever have to choose between the two, I’d vote for character over competency. Why? Because the skills needed for competency can be taught and studied. But character is the heart of who we are deep in our core. It’s the values and ethics we live by in public and in private when no one else can see but our Heavenly Father.

How do you think God views your character these days? Maybe you need a tune-up or perhaps a complete overhaul. In whatever condition you find your character, daily return to the One who created you and let Him restore your heart.

By being more concerned about who YOU are following and modeling your life after, you’ll discover you have a life worth emulating. And, it will be for the right reasons—to point them to the One who can rescue, restore, and renew their hearts and help them become one of His beloved children, people of character as well as competency.

Author: Lynn Kaufman

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