Monday, October 11, 2010

The 4 Cs of Leadership (3)

by Rev. James Wong

Continuing with our series, the 1st “C” of leadership is Character and the 2nd “C” of leadership is competence. The 3rd “C” of leadership is Chemistry.

Chemistry here refers more to team chemistry, the working relationship issue in a team. Where there is good chemistry, every member of the team can relate well with each other. Everyone enjoys each other’s company and there is real synergy. A misfit is a problem.

There is a place for individuals who can only operate alone and do not like the crowd and teamwork but in the church environment where Christian leadership is concerned, the chemistry, which is the ability to mix around with people and make the connection with people in all levels, must be present. To have the chemistry is to have the necessary interpersonal skill to work with others and relationships determine the morale of an organization. When the morale is down, people feel frustrated and is not motivated to work or serve. Then we say the spiritual atmosphere of the church is down and we need a “revival” to set the hearts of the people on fire. What we actually need is to improve on the relationships, the chemistry, in the group.

Here are four powerful truths to help you create a better chemistry in the church, cell group, fellowship, home or office.

1. Maintain an attitude of acceptance. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Rom 15:7). You need to learn to accept each other’s differences. You should also be mindful of the fact that you should not make it difficult for others to work with you. Adopt the humble attitude of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV) has this to say: “5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!”

Humility attracts and arrogance repels. When you are humble you will find it easier to understand and accept other people’s differences. One effective way to maintain your humility is to often remind yourself that “I could be wrong.” This is the first step to ensure that you can have the chemistry to work with others while you are out there to look for others who have the right chemistry to work with you.

2. Be proactive in fulfilling your responsibilities. Everyone has a different role to play. Try to figure out how best you can achieve your work purposes and your functions in the group. You must identify your role and fulfil it. “6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Rom 12:6-8 NLT). You are to use your gifts to function as you should and focus in fulfilling your role where God has placed you.

In application this means, if your role is to serve others, serve them well. If your role is a teacher, then don’t simply teach but teach well like a skilful teacher. If your role is to encourage others, be encouraging whenever you are with the people and not create discouragement or discord. If you are a leader you take the responsibility seriously. Anything that collapses under your leadership is your responsibility. If your role is to show kindness to others, do it gladly and not reluctantly. Now, what is your role? Figure it out.

3. Use the art of encouragement. There is power in encouragement. Control your tongue. If something you say is going to destroy—stop it. Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) says, “Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” People are motivated by encouragement. “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” (Jim Stovall).

Paul was totally upset with Mark, the young guy who left half way during his first missionary journey. During his second missionary journey Barnabas wanted to bring Mark along and that really infuriated Paul because Mark was not trustworthy. Barnabas and Paul had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas who was known as “the son of encouragement” took Mark with him but Paul chose Silas and left (Acts 15:39-41). Paul was proven wrong in his judgment and in his later years while he was in prison he wrote to Timothy saying “Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (2 Tim 4:11). Indeed Mark was useful. He wrote the Gospel of Mark. Without Barnabas I wonder if there will be a Mark!

4. Supporting the leadership. Make it a joy for your superior to work with you. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." Wrong assumption of people can get you into trouble. In Christian leadership you should start off with a positive assumption that people in leadership are God loving people who are willing to sacrifice their time and energy to live their faith and serve Christ in a practical way. Support the leadership of the church and make their work a joy and not a burden.

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