Life-Giving Leadership: Leadership That Shines
by Karen Hodge, Guest Writer
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. -Daniel 12:3 (NIV)
You are a star! You were made to shine like the brightest light in the heavens. News flash, the brilliance is not about you! God created stars on the fourth day (Genesis 1:16). A star is an internal collision of hydrogen and helium atoms. This powerful impact produces a radiant light. God set forth the purpose of a star “And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth” (Genesis 1:17). Stars scatter darkness. A life-giving leader is called to shine in a dark world, and to radiate His glory to a watching world.
There are a lot of misconceptions about leadership. Leadership is not synonymous with authority. It has little to do with a title or role. It is not synonymous with decision making. Leadership biblically speaking looks radically different. It is upside down. It holds within it the potential to be life-giving or life-taking. Another leadership misconception concerns a person’s skill set. What this person can “bring to the table”. Life-giving leadership takes real spiritual wisdom. According to this verse, the wise will lead others to righteousness, or to Jesus. Solomon says, “The fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of the Lord is not a scary thing but rather fearing to do or say something that keeps us from fulfilling our purpose - to glorify and enjoy God. Wisdom is not simply just knowledge acquired but knowledge applied. So our purpose as star-like leaders is to shine light upon the earth in such a way that those who see it, see Jesus in all His glory. A life-taking leader says, “Look at me.” A life-giving leader prays, “Show me Your glory.”
My son lives in Washington DC, home to some of our finest museums. My guess is you have visited there and perhaps have climbed to the second floor of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to view the Hope Diamond. Over 100 million visitors have also come to gaze at the 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond. The room is dim and the gem sits adorned in the middle of the room. Your inclination is to move as close as you can to catch a glimpse of its multifaceted splendor. You don’t get too close though before the security guard urges you to take a step back. To adorn means to put something beautiful or attractive on display. It is the action Paul references in Titus 2:10 when he says “…so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” Adorning the gospel is spreading the fame of His name. It is living out the implications of the gospel, showing it to be both believable and beautiful. Nothing can change its intrinsic value, but our conduct has a direct influence on how people view the gospel. Our words and actions will either validate or negate the claims of the gospel. Life-giving leaders shine as they seek to adorn the gospel. When Jesus is lifted up He said,” I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
- What are you radiating to a watching world, self-glory, or God’s glory?
- Consider your perceptions of leadership. Have you ever tried to leverage your authority, role, or skills to control others?
- Do you fear to do or say something that keeps you from fulfilling your purpose - to glorify and enjoy God?
- Is there a decision you need to make as a leader this week? Is your approach to simply acquire knowledge and information or are you seeking to apply what you know is true to the situation?
- Is the gospel adorned in your life in such a way those around you lean in to gaze at Jesus’ work in your life?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Hodge serves as the Women’s Ministry Coordinator for the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America). Her joy is to connect women and churches to one another and to sound resources. She is also having the time of her life serving alongside her husband Chris Hodge, Senior Pastor at Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, IL. She is the mother to two adult children Anna Grace Botka and Haddon. It is from the perspective of a wife, mother, leader, and fellow pilgrim that she hopes to bring the hope of the gospel to the hearts of women. Karen, along with Susan Hunt, authored Transformed: Life-taker to Life-giver and Life-giving Leadership.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.