4 Mental Disciplines That Will Make You a Better Leader
God is Calling You
God is calling up Christian Men to elevate the standard of leadership in today’s world.
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions…” Acts 2:17a
“So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19
Today’s Christian man has a calling of God upon his life to be a vocal leader and a visionary for the cause of Jesus Christ. However, if you are to be a leader, you must think like a leader! Leaders are peculiar people and they are definitely not your standard cookie cutter men who “blend in” with everyone else. They are not like the jellyfish who cannot swim but is completely moved by the ocean currents who will one day end up being washed up on shore and die!
Let’s take a quick look at one very interesting modern day leader. Check out what the world is saying about an awkward-looking man named Bill Gates:
“He has an all-consuming desire to succeed.” Venture
“He is the single most influential figure in the computer history, now the richest man in America, called ‘Boy Billionaire.’” Wall Street Journal
Bill Gates didn’t wait to get out of high school to learn how to succeed and be a leader. He and his friend, Paul Allen, worked on developing software programs until 4:00 am on school nights and all day during the weekend. At age 15, Gates and Allen wrote a traffic program, formed a company called “Traf-O-Data,” and made $20,000 on their first project. During Gates senior year he was paid $30,000 to write software in his spare time. He would soon become our nation’s youngest billionaire ever. Why should our Christian men wait until they are mature, gray-haired adults before they do something great for God in their World? God is calling the young men to stand up and lead and is calling the mature men to disciple them!
Think Like A Leader
If you want to be a leader then you must think like a leader.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7a
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2a
Your thoughts will determine what you will do and who you will be. This is why Satan attacks our thoughts. The simplest of blessings or curses starts in the mind. I mean, you don’t just get up one day and say to yourself: “I’m going to commit adultery today”! It starts with a subtle thought one day, a fantasy. Maybe in anger after an argument with your wife, you begin to have subtle thoughts about what life would be like without her. You begin to think you “deserve better”. You start fantasizing about it and when the opportunity is there, you walk right in without even realizing it! It begins with a thought!
Is this same manner, you must discipline yourself to start thinking like a leader. Get up in the morning and talk to God about your day, your week, your life in general. Then, begin to plan your day to day life according to God’s will for you (found right in the BIBLE). Daydream about it! Imagine what it would be like to do what God is calling you to do. Write a book, preach, lead a community group, pray for the sick, or whatever it is that God is calling you to do. Then, fantasize about it and start to take baby steps towards it. Before you know it, you will be the leader that God has called you to be.
So what are somethings that godly leaders think about? I am glad you asked, let’s take a look at 4 things godly leaders think about and discipline ourselves to think, to daydream and to meditate on these things.
A leader thinks about how to serve others well.
“This means I am not bound to obey people just because they pay me, yet I have become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9:19
Who is the leader in the fast food industry and why? McDonald’s of course! They have risen to power and dominance in the fast food market by serving families and children with quick, colorful, fun, inexpensive food. They thought “service,” and now they lead the way!
When you make a commitment to serve others in your church, school, and community, you will become a leader. And I put an emphasis on serving. Many think that leaders just tell others what to do. However, the best leaders in the world are those who serve.
Let me ask you this, who would you follow? Would you follow the mean boss who is not willing to help out and just tells you what to do or a boss who is willing to get dirty and who is not afraid to serve others?
A leader thinks about preparation. As a SCOUT, I was always to “Be Prepared”. I learned the importance of being prepared one day when we went camping to a place called “El Ocotal”. It was a pine forest that sat at an elevation of 8173 feet above sea level. There were Scouts from all over the world there having what we call a Jamboree. There must have been about 500 or more Scouts Camping there.
When our troop left Mexico City, it was a Sunny and a Warm day I remember there being a beautiful blue sky. But as their leader, I made sure to tell them all to “Be Prepared”. After all, we didn’t know what the weather was like there and we needed to plan and be prepared for everything. When we arrived, it was drizzling and cold. It was so cold that a thin sheet of ice was forming on the ground and on the trees!
My troop and I assessed the campgrounds and found many tents lying in low areas were starting to puddle so we looked for the high ground. We noticed many of the other troops had not covered their firewood or even started a fire. We pitched out tents, put a canopy over the base tent and piled up firewood next to the tent so it would stay dry. It was only noon when we arrived and by one o’clock we had set up a safe Zone, a sick bay and a fully operational kitchen where we would later cook our meals. We had two fires going, one for cooking and one for staying warm.
By 2 o’clock, we were sitting around the campfire waiting for the heavy drizzle to stop. we could hear that the other troops were having trouble. They were wet, had no fire and were in need of help. So we helped. We brought the younger scouts that were there (12-14 year olds) to the safe zone to dry up and get warm. Then, we sang songs and told stories to cheer them up. We Shared our fire with other troops and even had to share some firewood to get them started because all their wood was wet. Once the other camps were able to get organized, all 500 or so Scouts that were there had at one time or another come by our camp to dry off, warm up and cook their meals.
I will never forget that camping trip as long as I live! It rained continuously for 5 of the 7 days were were there! I imagine that somewhere in the world there are 500 men who were there that Jamboree that will also never forget the importance of being prepared!
“The horse are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31
“The more you sweat in preparation, the less you bleed in battle.” (Anonymous)
God has always required great preparation in order to achieve great results in leadership.
Joseph received a dream at the age of 17 and the fulfillment of the dream at age 30. (That’s 13 years of preparation!)
Abraham was 75 years old when God made a covenant with him. He was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
David killed Goliath at 16 years old and was promoted to king at 37 years old.
Jesus spent 30 years preparing for his three years of earthly ministry.
The difference between a leader and everyone else is that the leader will prepare and everyone else takes the battle when it comes.
Leaders think about how to use their time wisely.
“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
In a lifetime, the average American will spend:
Six months sitting at stoplights.
Eight months opening junk mail.
One year looking for misplaced objects.
Two years unsuccessfully returning phone calls.
Four years doing housework.
Five years waiting in line.
Six years eating.
How much time are you wasting on other non-productive activities like endless watching television, surfing the internet or talking on the phone? I know some people who watch an average of 6 hours of TV a day! Let’s do some math here and open your eyes to this grave problem.
6 hours of TV a day times 365 days a year equals 2190 hours of TV time a year. There are 24 hours in a day so 2190 divided by 24 equals 91.25 days (24 hour days) watching TV. Let’s analyze this for one second. The average person works 35 – 40 hours a week. 40 times 52 weeks is only 2080 hours versus 2190 hours watching TV. If only you got paid to watch TV, but we don’t! The stats are just as alarming for smartphone usage and social media time.
If you stole one hour of each day from your TV and telephone-time, or if you got up one hour early everyday, in one year you would add 15 full days to invest in the leadership goals that God is preparing you for.
Leaders think big and think how to carry that BIG thought out.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20
Leaders are known by their accomplishments and by their impact on the world. Leaders don’t let their circumstances limit their potential or change their focus. How much you accomplish in your life is directly related to how BIG you think.
Make a list of steps you must take to reach your goals and start doing them one at a time. The key is diligence and persistence.
Are you ready to make the commitment to be the kind of leader God is looking for?
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