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Leadership is for everyone!How can I make such a bold claim? Because every person who accepts Christ is called to influence others.
Everyone. Leadership is not just for a select few.
Years ago in his book Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders gave the best definition of leadership I’ve ever read. He simply stated, “Leadership is influence.” I have embraced that definition and taught it to thousands and thousands over the years. If you are a follower of Christ, then you recognize that you are called to influence others. Jesus said it this way: “You are the salt of the earth.… You are the light of the world.… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:13–16).
It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO or a stay-at-home mom; if you call yourself a Christian, then you are called to influence others. That’s why it’s important for you to learn to become a better leader—whether you are the parent in a family, the pastor of a church, the president of a company, or a potential leader for the next generation.
The problem is that, if you are like most people, you may not wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, “Now, there’s a godly, effective leader if I ever saw one.” Today most people don’t believe they can make a positive impact on the world they live in. Even most pastors feel this way. In 1997 the Barna Research Group reported that 95 percent of American pastors said they don’t believe they have the spiritual gift of leadership. Nor do they feel they have been adequately prepared for the task of leadership. The truth is that few people are naturals when it comes to leading others. But everyone has potential. I believe you can become a better leader, regardless of your age, gender, marital status, or profession.
Sociologists say that even introverted people will influence an average of 10,000 people in their lifetime. Just think about that! Someone who’s not even trying to lead others will impact many. Just think about what one person can do if he or she is intentional about leading—as Jesus directed us to be. What kind of impact potential has God put inside of you?
I want you to see yourself as a leader. I want you to learn from the best leaders who ever lived—the men and women in the Bible. No matter how strong or weak your leadership is—whether you are a “4” or a “9”—I want you to improve and reach your leadership potential for the glory of God.
John C. Maxwell
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