Leaders do not rush around from one emergency to another
There is the emergency style of leadership and the preventive style of leadership. Emergency leadership involves running around from one crisis to another and is not an effective style of leadership.
This type of leader settles one crisis and feels accomplished, only to discover the next crisis brewing. Preventive leadership involves a style of leadership which prevents the occurrence of all these crises.
There are fewer crises under this style of leadership. Leaders involved with the preventive leadership style often hold training conferences, shepherds’ camps and teaching seminars.
These leaders are more relaxed and more in control of their organisations.
Steps to Preventive Leadership
• Teach your people what you want them to know.
I have discovered that almost everything can be taught. It is possible to get whatever you desire from your subordinates by teaching them.
Learn to teach to achieve your desired result. Hold regular retreats, conferences and camps to teach your subordinates what you expect of them.
•Do not borrow money. Debts create uncertainty! The possibility that your whole world could come crashing down on you because of debt is disturbing.
I would not advise you to borrow money. It is possible to live without debt.
Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
•Distinguish between unimportant but urgent requests and important but non-urgent duties.
Jesus was summoned urgently to attend to Lazarus but it was more important for him to do other things.
He did not rush around to unplanned activities unless it was essential. A leader needs to distinguish between requests that require abandonment of scheduled activities and those that do not.
A wise leader will not rush around to unplanned activities unless it is essential.
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick). Therefore, his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said,
‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.’ Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard, therefore, that he was sick, he abode for two days still in the same place where he was. John 11:1-6
A pastor has many important non-urgent duties. A pastor must spend time in prayer and the Word. Praying and studying the Word does not sound as urgent as someone dying in the hospital.
Waiting on God does not sound as urgent as having to write cheques or sort out administrative issues. Yet, a leader who attends to his non-urgent but important duties will achieve more.
• Do not overextend yourself. You can only do so much with your life. Overextending yourself is taking up things that God has not sent you to do. This creates stress and crises.
God does not expect us to do everything. We are not as essential as we may think. If we were that important, no young pastor would ever die! If we were that important in the scheme of things, James, the brother of John, would not have died in the middle of his ministry.
Do your part and leave the rest to God. Have you not read that God says you must rest?
There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Hebrews 4:9-11
• Delegate whenever you can. Jesus ministered for three years and delegated the rest of the work to his disciples. He had no delusions about what he could accomplish on his own.
He did not even attempt to go beyond the borders of Israel to minister. He delegated that aspect of his ministry to his disciples.
Do you remember that Jesus sent his disciples to the uttermost part of the Earth? Did you notice that Jesus did not attempt to go to the uttermost parts of the Earth?
He delegated the work of going to the uttermost parts of the Earth to the disciples. He did not try to prove to anyone that He could go to the uttermost parts of the Earth himself.
His role was to minister to the Jews and to die on the cross. Jesus’ job was defined in Matthew 15:24. He intended to stick to his assignment. He delegated the rest to us.
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
May God help us not to rush from one emergency to another!
The writer is the founder of the Lighthouse Group of Churches.