Initially, I wrestled with my calling to Christian leadership because I am female. I had proper gifts for leadership—passion, vision, education, experience, and desire—but I secretly questioned whether I had pushed myself forward when God really wanted me to sit down, fold my hands, and shut up because I was a girl.
Leadership in secular business was no problem. I had what it took there and unflinchingly used it. But when it came to Christian leadership, I hung back and questioned and questioned. And questioned—until I began to search the Scriptures and found many female leadership role models. When I speak, I often talk about those Biblical role models because other women have questions, too.
Then came the secondary question: Did God call me? Or was I “only a volunteer?”
God Loves Volunteers
Then I heard the voice of God, “Whom shall I send?” And I said, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people.” (Isaiah 6:8, 9a)
We tend to glorify God’s anointing of the unwilling—Moses, who was persuaded by a burning bush and other arguments; Paul, who was knocked down and temporarily blinded; etc.
But God loves willing spirits. And empowers them. God showed Isaiah a needy people hoping Isaiah would volunteer to minister to them. David was commended as a man who sought after God’s heart.
If God shows you a need, perhaps He is actually hoping you will volunteer to fill it. Or inspire another willing spirit who can. The most honored callings come from the quiet whispers of the Holy Spirit who says, “Look at this need. What can we do about it?”
A Sense of Destiny
We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
You were created to do good. When you do good, God gets a good reputation. In church-speak, this is called “glorifying God.”
Glorifying God—this is why you were put on earth. And if you don’t do good, you will miss your destiny. Whatever task you are given, do it the best you possibly can. Get better at it. This is glorifying to God and what you are called to do.
Let People See Your Heart
I did not shrink back from declaring to you anything that was profitable. (Paul to the Ephesians in Acts 20:20)
If you are going to answer God’s call to lead, you’ve got to open your heart. This keeps you close to the heart and pulse of the people. Your vision may be fuzzy and your strategy flawed, but when people can see the Spirit leads your heart, they will follow.
I’ll admit this is hard for me. I would rather listen than talk, be a sounding board than “share.” But my scars are also my credentials. If God can comfort, heal, help, forgive, and sustain me, He can do it for anybody.
If your experiences, mistakes, or tragedies can help someone else find Jesus or grow their faith, share it. It’s called “being a witness.”
Nothing to Lose
I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I might finish the race and complete the tasks that the Lord Jesus has given of me, the task of testifying of the Gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)
What makes suicide bombers willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause? They consider themselves already dead so their cause—however misguided—might go forward.
Paul considered himself dead. His goal was that Christ might live His life using Paul’s body. Doubtlessly, this is the hardest principle of Christ-centered leadership, but the most important.
Paul found it hard, too. He said, “I die daily” and urged others to “Offer yourself as a living sacrifice.”
We can get lost in the trappings of programs and schemes. But the real mark of a leader is their willingness to live a life worthy of His calling.
© Rebekah Binkley Montgomery 2005
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