As a pastor, you most likely work hard to make a positive impact on the lives of those in your church. But no amount of hard work will prove effective if God's power isn't working through you as you lead.

No matter what your background or current circumstances, God wants to use you.  He wants to turn you into a powerful leader - just as He transformed Joshua in biblical times from a slave in Egypt to Israel's first highly successful general.

Here's how you can follow Joshua's example to become the leader God wants you to be:

Don't let your past determine your future.  Keep in mind that no amount of suffering or lack of abilities or opportunities can stop you from becoming a great leader if you place your life in God's hands. Remember that Joshua had no freedom, education, or military training when he was young - yet he became an outstanding leader.  Believe that anything is possible with God.

Make obedience your top priority.  Realize that God is not as interested in your origins as He is in your obedience. Be patient as He methodically lays a foundation of character in you to properly prepare you to fulfill His purposes for your life.

Use your transition time well.  Know that there is no such thing as born leader; becoming a good leader is a process.  While you wait for God to bring your leadership into full bloom, make the most of the opportunities you have instead of squandering your time. Ask God to help you overcome obstacles and learn from mistakes.  Stay hopeful, expecting God to keep working in your life to bring about good results.

Be faithful in the little things.  As you demonstrate faithfulness in the little things God asks you to do, He will entrust with you with more.  Let God set the agenda for your life.  Be more concerned about your character than your career.  Be humble, and don't worry about building your own reputation or gaining recognition for your achievements.  Be willing to do whatever God asks you to do.  Whenever you work for God, give it your best effort.  Stay faithful to God's Word, regardless of the cost.  Heed God's warnings.  Don't pick and choose which of God's commands to obey; strive to follow all of them.  Don't let other people negatively influence you.  Instead, build a habit of listening and obeying God.

Let the Holy Spirit lead you.  Invite the Holy Spirit to guide your decisions and empower your actions.  Focus on God's voice rather than your own.  If He calls you to work as an assistant when you'd rather be a senior pastor, accept His assignment.  If He calls you to step up to a higher position to serve, be bold enough to do so.  Don't let yourself become complacent; strive to always be growing as the Spirit leads you.  Trust in God's wisdom rather than your own knowledge.  Meditate on Scripture until its full implication becomes clear to you.  Be willing to wait for God's timing rather than rushing to make a decision before you've heard from Him.  Pray often, and ask God to meet your specific needs.  Don't be satisfied with anything less than God's manifest presence in your life.

Give it all you've got.  Don't be halfhearted in your walk with God.  Be passionate!  Rather than being primarily concerned with safety or convenience, focus on obedience.  Accept hard assignments, knowing that God's commands are always motivated by love and meant for your good.  Instead of negotiating, delaying, or revising when God calls you to do something, have faith in His righteous wisdom and respond with obedience.  Don't underestimate your own vulnerability to sin.  Instead, constantly pray for God's grace to help you remain faithful.