When asked, “What is the secret to Life Action Ministries not only surviving but maintaining effectiveness for 45 years?” I don’t have to think very long…“It’s the people!” I respond. From end to end, God has given us leaders and staff who embody six characteristics that I believe are critical to maximize effectiveness in ministry, or in any institution.
1. Heart for God
An essential quality for wisdom (from above) is to have a heart that pursues God (Jesus Christ). Now, I grew up in the midst of cornfields. I learned, regardless of how glamorous the giant high-tech combines make farming appear, any farmer would tell you they are still dependent upon God’s provision…sunshine and rain. Thus, a heart fully surrendered to God seems essential in the cornfields of Indiana…and I suspect it would be in the workplace.
2. Basic Character
Doing what is right whether I feel like it or not is the essence of basic character. The NY Times reported ADP found 40% of people lie on their résumé. Sadly, many choose not to have the basic characteristic of honesty. Among Christians, this should not be so! We should have the ability to be truthful in all circumstances! God does not allow dishonesty in His communication and neither should we. As believers, we should be the most dependable and honest individuals because of God’s impact in our lives.
This quality extends beyond God-given gifts and abilities; competence builds upon them…enriching what God has given me with all due diligence, so I can be a “workman who does not need to be ashamed” and “equipped for every good work,” enabling success.
4. Passion for Mission
In my homeland, the cornfields of Indiana, having a passion for a clearly defined goal meant when everyone else was at the lake enjoying a nice sunny 4th of July weekend, our family would stay home and labor in the fields. Because making one more step toward the finish line was critical. Every moment mattered. We had a passion for the mission, which in the end, yielded results
5. Servant’s Heart
What about a servant’s heart? One of the first principles I learned when I came to Life Action was that true success was not what I was able to achieve, but what I was able to do to help those under and around me achieve. I was only successful if those under me were successful. What if our political leaders measured their success by the same standard?
6. Teachable Spirit
Perhaps what has always bothered me most about political campaigns is the constant talk of having all the answers for all the problems our nation is facing. If I heard more humble proclamations of “I don’t know but I will find out” and fewer arrogant “I know and the other candidate does not” statements, I would think a leader has arisen. Since “only by pride comes contention” and “pride goes…before a fall” are universally moral laws, an unteachable spirit does not give me much hope
Are you prayerfully searching for better ways to be a leader? If not, I challenge you to start right now. God is looking for a leader with whom He can share His ways.