A Study on Leadership
Written by Erin Miller
I have been doing a two-week study on leadership and I remember things better when I write them down. This is what I can tell you: I have been closely observing the leaders that have been placed above me; watching what they do with the people they are placed in charge of and how they respond to the different things they are faced with daily. This is one of the best times to be doing this study, because it is during the pandemic known as the COVID-19. Watching all the different leaders around the world, not only the people whom I see every day, I see people completely shutting down their country, those who shut down travel to their country. There are people who are more scared than others, and we all have our own way of handling pressure. I can say I think that our current president is handling this situation, considering what we are facing, really well. There are people who have lost a job due to this virus. I am in an internship right now with CBM (Children’s Bible Ministries) where we go on three rotations. I was on my second rotation, helping teach the kids the gospel with one of our released time programs, but then they shut down the schools when this outbreak started, and got sent back to our National Headquarters, as my leader requested. Now I am working a lot everyday with our new kids website . And I have enjoyed every minute I have spent on it. But I would not be doing this if my leader did not make that call. I have many leaders over me and the number continues to grow the more places I go. Doing this study has been eye-opening for me. Going different places and meeting all kinds of new leaders is really cool and I can learn so much with each little visit I get with each one.
I am not the kind of person who reads a lot of books but there are two, in particular, that I read for this study, and I am going to share things that stood out to me while reading them. The first book I read was “Leadership” by Stephen Viars. The biggest thing that he talks about in his book is integrity. According to the dictionary, the meaning of integrity is: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness; the state of being whole and undivided.” Viars said, “Real leadership is caring for and protecting those whom God has placed under your care and taking responsibility for their well-being.” This is a great definition of what leadership is meant to be. God is our leader, above all of the leaders we have on the earth, and yet He is the one that gets ignored the most. I have made it my personal goal to put these words into actions. For the last two weeks, I have been thinking about the word “integrity” throughout the day and asking myself: Am I being an example of God through what I am doing daily? Am I being honest and standing firm on what I believe in the Bible, and keeping an undivided attention on what the Bible says is true? I encourage you to do this as well. Through this challenge, there are many wonderful things that I have learned, things I have never thought about before.
The second book I read is “Set an Example” by Tim Challies. Throughout his book he has a key verse he is always going back to: 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” He goes on to explain each of these in his next several chapters. After reading this book, I picked up some things on each of these topics and I will explain what I got out of each. All that Tim Challies talks about is based on what Paul teaches Timothy about being a leader. He says “Do not let others despise you for your youth, but set an example…” Just as Paul asked Timothy to set an example, so should we. If you are a believer in Jesus, then you should already be working towards teaching other people about Jesus. It does not matter how old you are, if you are willing and able, you should share the truth with others.
Not only are we to set an example, but Challies goes even deeper into 1 Timothy 4:12 and goes over each of these five words in the verse: Speech, love, conduct, faith, and purity. He starts with speech and then goes in order. Speech. As I read this chapter in the book, it made me think. At this point I was already challenging myself with integrity, but I decided to add to that challenge. I also decided to think extra about the words I would be saying. Do they set an example for other people? I thought really hard about what I was going to say before I said it. Then, after I said anything, I would see how whoever I was talking to would respond. To be a good leader you need to think about what you say, because you can use words to build someone up but you can also cut them really deeply. So, for me, it is important to see how others feel about what I say.
When I read the chapter on conduct, there was a lot in it that I took notes on. It was a great chapter and there were a lot of things to take away from it and use in my own life. On conduct, Challies said “We need to be there,” in order to set an example to, not only a non-believer, but also to a Christian. You need to be at a church. We need to be friendly to everyone, not just shoot them a smile but have a conversation. Talk to those who are different than you, even if they are older, younger, disabled, or a different gender. We need to be all-in. We need to be servants for the Lord. Look for ways to serve God in your church. And remember that we all have different talents and abilities. Just because you do not play an instrument or sing does not mean there is nothing that needs to be done. You could be doing someone the biggest favor if you just take the trash out. But you should remember you are doing it for God, not the approval of man. On that note, do not feel like you should try to be invisible. I know I just said to not do things for other people, but you should not try to isolate yourself. How are you being an example to others if you do not let other people see you? If you are a leader, you should be willing to do what the ones you are leading are doing. It’s called servant leadership.
You need to love. Love is not just the emotion you feel. If you truly love someone, you need to show them through your actions. Thank the Lord He didn’t just show His emotional love;
I am glad He showed it through His actions as well. Without it, I would not have ever been saved. But, just as Jesus showed His love for us, we need to show it to the others who we lead.
Even when they are hard to love, or they do not show their love for you in return, this is what God calls us to do for everyone. Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” In a lot of Paul’s writings to Timothy, he often used the two words love and faith together. But we are warned in the book “Set an Example” to be careful not to get the two mixed up: “We must have faith to show faith, and love to show love.”
Purity. You need to stay pure. In the leadership book written by Tim Challies, it talks about needing to keep your hands pure, “hands” symbolizes the entire body. “Your actions are to be marked by purity.” Pure Heart. Of course, the actions you take will be a reflection of what is happening within your heart. So, keep your heart pure. Pure Mind. To have a pure heart and pure hands you must first have a pure mind. We need to be careful about what we put in our minds–what you see, what you read, what you hear.
I know I have learned a lot in the last two weeks. I hope this helps you in any way God speaks to you. Feel free to check out the link to the new website. I am praying for you and your family during this pandemic!
Erin is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE.