One of my earliest lessons about impactful leadership was from a message preached at a conference I attended as a young disciple in Paris, in 1993. The speaker had led a mission team to Milan in Italy, and he emphasized on the loneliness that comes with leadership. A leader’s ability to stand alone sometimes till people catch up with his or her vision and conviction.
A few years later, I started drinking that cup of “loneliness” on the missionary field and only then did I grasp the full extent of the lesson– especially when leading a smaller group far away from the sending or more prominent church. In bigger churches, a leader is often surrounded by more mature people to help carry the burden. Leading smaller churches exposed my character or lack of it like rarely nothing else. It helped me realize my true self and beliefs.
Deep convictions and vision are leadership qualities that take time to cultivate especially in a rat race culture with little time set aside to examine our beliefs. This explains why most people go with what is popular or acceptable, just coasting along till turbulence hits and exposes their shallow convictions.
The cup of sacrifice is another price a leader must be willing to pay. The leader often stays awake in prayer and study while others are sleeping; usually getting up much earlier than others. I understood this lesson a lot better about 20 years ago when I watched Mel Gibson’s classic movie _*“Braveheart”*_.
William Wallace, the Scottish patriot from a humble background, made a statement that exposed the King’s son with a right to the throne as they fought for their freedom from English rule. He said this: “People don’t follow a title, they follow courage”.
Are you ready to drink the cup of leadership in the church, in society, in your family etc.?