I had the opportunity in September to attend a 3-day conference with Johnny Hunt as well as host a one-day conference with his at our church. Most of the content was the same at the conferences. I figured it would be, but I also knew I probably wouldn’t get to hear it all when we hosted the event. I’ve learned that when you host something, you miss a lot of it. That lesson was proven true once again.
There was one of Johnny’s lessons, from which I thought you would benefit. Thought most of Johnny’s instruction was for pastors, this lesson touches anyone in leadership: “12 Ways to Be a Godly Leader.” If you are a Christian leader, then you should be a godly leader. You need to represent the Lord well before your people. Here are my reflections on Johnny’s twelve points. The points are his, the explanation is mine.
- Prioritize the Word in your personal life. If you want to live the Bible, you’ve got to read the Bible. Time in God’s Word should be a priority of every leader’s life. Get up, open it up, read, reflect, and pray.
- Make prayer a part of your DNA. Prayerlessness is idolatry. When a problem comes, pray. When a victory occurs, pray. And – take a moment to pray on your knees. The posture will help humble you and remind you who is leading you while you lead others.
- Never outgrow accountability. Who have you given permission to speak into your life about anything they observe? You need someone who can call you out and still love you when they do. Calling out a crack now can prevent a break in the future. My best friend and a group of deacons do this for me. I’m grateful for them. (Honestly, my wife probably does better than any of them, though!)
- Genuinely believe the Kingdom is larger than you. It’s easy for your job, your business, your church, your family to be your kingdom. But we are to be about God’s kingdom. That kingdom involves everything in your life and a whole lot that isn’t. Are you investing in the larger kingdom? Many of us have been blessed financially. We are blessed to be a blessing. Invest in Kingdom work through your church and other points of ministry.
- Live in urgency. You only have now. You really don’t even have the rest of today. Anything could happen in the next five minutes. You only have now. Live in urgency – keep the main things the main things. Delegate the rest.
- Guard your speech. Pastor Jerry Vines has said, “A Christian never has the luxury of being unkind.” Watch your tongue. Pastor Johnny says, “Talk in such a way that you genuinely believe someone is always listening.”
- Mentor someone. Someone poured into you. Be sure to pour into someone else. How will they learn? We’re often hard on millennials, but, if we’re honest, we made some bone-headed mistakes early on too. I caught pizza boxes on fire in the church oven! I am grateful for the pastors who poured into me in my college years.
- Share the gospel with nonbelievers. Those of you who work in the secular world have opportunity every day to rub shoulders with lost people. How you treat your employees and how you conduct your business is a witness to your faith and will open up doors for you to share your faith. Don’t miss the opportunities!
- Keep learning. Read, listen to pod-casts, go to conferences, call up a friend and pick their brain. Learn all the time. You’ll grow and you’re business will grow as a result. I recently spent an hour picking the brain of an older pastor who has been at his church three times as long as I’ve been here. It was the most rewarding hour I’ve spent in a long time.
- Be a person of integrity in all matters. Who are you when no one is looking? Get rid of the junk that may be lurking and live an open life that can be respected.
- Take care of yourself physically. It seems we either do well at this or don’t do it at all. There is little in between. Take care of yourself. Your body is a tool through which you serve the Lord. You don’t have to be ripped, but you should be healthy. Admittedly, this is an up and down struggle for me.
- Meditate on your conversion experience. Remember who you were when Jesus called you – nothing, a sinner in need of salvation. Return to the joy of your salvation every day and live from your salvation every day.
May God help us to apply these lessons and live every day as godly leaders.
Praying for you and your leadership,