I have been re-reading Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. This has been an influential book for me. I had forgotten how many times I use a phrase or an idea from it.
“We can only lead others as far along the road as we ourselves have traveled” is one such principle. It challenges me to continue to grow in my faith in Christ and in my leadership of others. We all have areas that need improvement and growth. The question is, are we committed to continued growth?
One of the questions I often ask in interviews and regularly ask friends and staff is, “What are you reading?” Listening to what a person is reading is often a good indicator for me if they are growing. I know some people just don’t like to read and for them learning happens in other ways. But, for me, reading well is essential to my continued growth both as a follower of Christ and a leader. In addition to Spiritual Leadership I am also reading God in My Everything by Ken Shigematsu, When God Comes to Church by Ray Ortlund, Jr. and finally, My Near Death Experiment written by my son, Caleb.
Another critical area for our continued growth and development revolves around who we spend time with. Do you have friends, colleagues or mentors who demonstrate and speak truth into your life? I have a few such men in my life that I have known for years. I usually refer to them as the guys I can’t lie too. We have walked life together for a long time and they have been with me through the most trying times in my life. I don’t know what I would do without them. Those men along with my wife, Gina, not only keep me out of trouble but help me grow.
I would encourage you to seek out some friends like them.
So before you worry too much about who you are leading, take some time making sure you are leading yourself.