The workplace can often be a tough arena to actively share your Christian faith. As the themes of tolerance, acceptance and equality continue to expand in our culture, the principles of the Bible are often seen as too rigid. On top of that, Christians are often seen as judgmental and hypocritical. For today’s followers of Jesus, these conditions can influence the way we live out our faith. This is especially true when it comes to serving as a leader in the workplace. How can someone who desires to serve Jesus boldly also perform as a workplace leader in a way that glorifies the God? One
During a recent sermon series at my church, we’ve been going through the book of Colossians. One of the sermons was on Colossians, chapter 2. But before I go there, let’s review some of the background.
Paul, the author of this letter to the church at Colossae, was in prison in Rome. Paul had never been to Colossae but a faithful friend of his, Epaphras, was at the church in Colossae. Epaphras was burdened by what was happening at the church and sought Paul’s help in resolving his concerns.
Great leaders lead by influence. Their character, competencies, and relational skills or lack thereof, can determine their leadership effectiveness. And as a pastor, perhaps my relational skills influence my leadership impact the most. Integral to relational skills is the vibe others feel from us. If someone feels like you like him or her, they’re more likely to respond positively to your leadership. If they don’t, and enough people feel the same way, your leadership will suffer. Consider these simple ways to become a likable leader.
All of us want a story that begins, “once upon a time” and ends like fairytales do; “and they lived happily ever after.” The day the tragic motorcycle accident tore Pastor Paul’s physical presence from this earth, my world collapsed. I watched the helicopter disappear from view, as they took Paul to the trauma unit. I was overwhelmed. Just an hour before, I was strolling hand in hand with my beloved Paul. In a split second, everything changed. I had taught Jeremiah 29:11-12 just a few hours before the accident, but now I was in a living nightmare.
There he goes again. Must be hungry. Wake up, Mom.
But by the time I sat up and reached over to scoop up our newborn son, the little fellow was sound asleep. Over the next five hours his rustlings and squeaks and grunts kept me alert to his possible needs. Except for one legitimate feeding, each time I shook the sleep from my head, he had settled back down. That was the last night this noisy sleeper shared a room with me.
‘Leadership’ and ‘compassion’ aren’t words we commonly link together. Most leaders are conditioned to put business before benevolence – to lead with their heads, not their hearts. The popular perception of a powerful leader is someone who’s tough, strong, decisive, hard-nosed, ultra-rational and results-driven. The reality is powerful leaders, amongst their other traits, have the conviction, confidence and courage to cultivate connectivity and compassion (Bill Cropper, 2009).”
By faith, we believe the sun will come up tomorrow. But how is our faith in the people with whom we will meet and interact?
How is our faith in our own abilities? Will we do everything perfectly or will we mess up tomorrow? What about others whom we rely on and trust in?
Then there is the question of our faith in God…
Faith carries us forward when human certainty crumbles.
Human certainty is fleeting.
Every time we’re certain about something, a warning bell starts to clang. We begin to question... Are we truly sure? Maybe. Or not. Or yes.
“Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous… who keeps an oath even when it hurts and does not change their mind.” Psalm 15:1-4
If someone asked for your definition of success, what would you say? Would you be able to list the values and foundation you are leading from? And most importantly, do those values you espouse actually pass real-life tests of your integrity?
In 2005 tennis champion Andy Roddick was playing a match against Fernando Verdasco.
There was a time when I thought the words love and work would never be used in the same sentence. I believed business was built on intense competition, boot-strapping operating methods and a commitment to winning. I finished college and transitioned into the business world in the early 1990s. During that time, several of the largest corporate layoffs in the history of business occurred. Terms like downsizing, rightsizing, and other fancy phrases for letting people go created a work environment that lacked trust.
It’s easy to be happy and laid back when things are going right. It’s easy to be a leader when there aren’t any conflicts or disruptions. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect. So, what do you when the going gets tough? Billy Ocean, a singer popular in the 1980’s, sang a song that said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Sometimes that is easier said than done.