Friday, November 30, 2012

The Conviction to Lead.


Cover ArtWhen  Bethany House Publishing offered this book to me free for me to review it, I was excited. Dr. Albert Mohler is a man I respect and admire for his cogent cultural commentary, from a Christian Perspective. I love his thoughts on how euthanasia is  the end of human dignity, not a way to die with yours intact, and how the "right to die" turns oh too quickly into the duty to die.  So when Dr. Mohler's new book came out, my sister, who is so kind, allowed me to take it even though she was the one who was going to review Bethany's books.  It is my aspiration to own a library with one book from a solid Christian on each topic. This will be my first book on leadership.  Read Dr. Mohler's heart behind his new book on his website AlbertMohler.com.   "Our ultimate conviction is that everything we do is dignified and magnified by the fact that we were created for the glory of God." 

This book is passionate, and deserves a passionate review. Tim Challies wrote a very passionate review of this book, and I read his review right before our copy came.  Albert Mohler defines Christians today as Belivers, and Leaders. Belivers are convinced of the Truth, and they believe passionately. They are ready to live and die for Truth.  Leaders study management, are heads of organizations and want good results from practices and programs.  What we need today is to help the believers realize that they need to lead, and help those in leadership positions  understand that no amount of  management makes a leader- it is beliefs worth leading for that cause you to lead, and convictions that you want spread with all of your being that cause you to learn to lead well.  
Ultimately, we need to understand one thing that will set them both straight. Leadership flows out of conviction.  

Only a man who is convicted with passion and earnestness can lead. Who is more passionately convicted than a Christian? A Christian is someone who is so convicted of Truth that he will live for it and die for it. He knows he has "light in the dark- The Gospel. Who else could be more passionate than him? Who else has something greater to be passionate about than the Gospel?"  A Christian becomes a leader when he realizes that he is willing to "believe in public and think out loud." Leading is part of living for the Gospel. 

You know who should immediately come to mind for all of us as an example of how true this is?  The man whom God drew to Himself in the 1500s, who became so convicted that he would have surely bled and died  for the Gospel, who saw fields of souls ready to harvest  and that God had work to be done. Then this man saw that in between living and dying for the Gospel he needed to lead for it. Leadership flowed out of these convictions. This man, who never studied management, who never aimed to be a CEO of an organization, became known to us as a great leader of the Protestant Reformation. His name is Martin Luther.  I dare to say that it is the same way- Conviction, and leading for those convictions in every great leaders life. George Washington loved the new nation before he agreed  to lead it. Lincoln loved the Union before he was willing to lead and fight to keep it.   

 With this firmly fixed in our mind, that we are leading  because we are convicted of the truth of the Gospel, and we want the cause of Christ advanced, then suddenly the  day to day life of a leader comes into focus. Things like being able to read a spreadsheet become not something to hire out, but to figure out because you are steward of  this money that God has given.  You become a judge of character, and you prayerfully steward every precious life you influence.  The Tv and the radio interview become not something to be feared, but to use unapologetically to advance  your message of conviction, to further the Kingdom of Christ.  Blogging becomes the worlds fastest, most inexpensive way to reach millions with your message. Reading becomes a skill you perfect, by God's Grace, that will give you knowledge of Him and this world to  serve Him better. Speaking becomes, as Mrs. Botkin says, a tool of discipleship to be mastered to better spread your message.  Good Writing, the fruit of much good reading and the way to make your words last longer, becomes something you study and set aside time for.  Time itself must be managed well, to make the most powerful use of the time God has given you. And power must be stewarded. You who are in authority, the Scripture teaches, must be careful how you live for you are under God's Authority. The power you have as a leader must be in servant-hearted Christ-like leadership. Our Lord warned us, we are not allowed to lord it over the people as the Gentiles do,  but  to lead the way He does.  The leader must be able to make decisions almost reflexively, building the reflex into his being by filling himself with God's Word so that it is so much a part of him that  he can make the decision that Scripture outlines almost by reflex.  

 Leadership is something that we, the people that God put here for such a time as this, will need to excel in. We desperately need men, and women, to lead and take dominion in their Biblical sphere, for the Kingdom of Christ.

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