As a leader, people are watching you and following your example, even when you don’t know it.
For better or for worse, your example is influencing the people God has called you to lead. This is true even when you think no one sees what you are doing and what drives you. This is still a spiritual reality that your life is having more of an impact than you realize.
Here is one sad example. A pastor of a large and influential church was living with deep, hidden, secret sin (or at least he thought it was secret). He was involved in pornography, sexual sin, and prostitution. When all of this broke out into the open (and it always does), a team of leaders from outside the church began to investigate the behaviors of the rest of the staff. They found a shocking number of church leaders who were involved in similar patterns of hidden sin. There was huge amounts of pornography on church computers and sexual boundaries being broken all over the place. The lead pastor thought his sin was private and hidden. None of the other staff knew about his ongoing and sinful life patterns. But, they were still following his example. Somehow, on a spiritual level, his choices were impacting many on the staff. It was powerful and painful.
In the same way, good and healthy patterns influence the leaders around us. I tell my board members, every year, that I do not look at their giving records. I explain that I don’t think I have the maturity to know if they are not generous and still see them in the same light. But, I assure them that their giving patterns and leadership in this area of ministry impact the entire church. I believe that if all of our leaders are consistently generous, a spiritual reality will follow, and more and more of our church members will grow generous. By the way, our budget has increased every year for the past four years and the giving has climbed with it. I believe our leaders are setting the pace!
So, here is my question for for you. Would it be good for your ministry if those who follow you live like you do? Ask yourself these questions. Ask them slowly and take time to reflect:
Would it be good if everyone who is part of the ministry I lead gave of their resources just like I do?
Would it be good if everyone served just like I do?
Would it be good if everyone shared their faith just like I do?
Would it be good if everyone worked just as hard as I do?
If you answer with a heartfelt and honest yes, praise God!
If you have to answer no to these kinds of questions, take time to adjust your heart and life so that you lead and live in a way that sets the tone for those who follow you.