A Call to Leadership

Developing the Servant Leader within – acalltoleadership.com

Learn so that you can Lead


For every one hundred people that you talk to about how they study the bible, you will receive one hundred different responses. Reading the bible, front to back every year. Selecting passages of the bible, say the book of Luke, and rereading it completely, everyday for 30 days before moving on. Finding particular passages, writing and rewriting them until you have memorized them by heart. Just some examples of reading the bible and all valid in their own right. We all learn differently, we all study differently. For those that feel a call to spiritual leadership, we need to be confident in what we learn as we go about our study in order to fulfill the requirements of our position.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7 (NIV)

Our is a call not only to educate, rather also to apply what is taught to real world situation. Spouting book knowledge, or this case scripture, without the understanding of what it means, why it is meaningful and why it changes the current situation is fruitless.

Study of the scriptures should be:

Prayerful – Ask God for clarity of purpose, openness of mind, wisdom to understand and the gift of discernment as you begin your study.

Contextual – As leaders we need to understand the reality in which our people live. If we are to engage them from the beginning, we need them to know that we truly understand them. The scriptures are the same way, to have a true understanding of the intent of the scriptures we need to augment our reading with a sense of the time, culture, geography, the setting, the people involved in the conversation.

Historical – The Apostle Paul was great at this. He put his teachings into historical perspective for his audience so that they might be equipped to comprehend the message.  For example, in the defense he puts on before the angry Jews in Jerusalem, the scripture says:

When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city.”

        By just using their native tongue, the angry mob stopped and listened to what he wanted to say. By reminding them that he grew up in Jerusalem just as as they had. He was one of them. They had common historical background and ancestry so they allowed him to speak.

        Study and understand the history of your faith as you study. Before the scriptures were written, these stories were told by one generation to the next. Feel that tradition as you learn the word.

Applicational – We have the words, we have the context, we have the history, all we need now is some way to but it into the context of our daily lives. It is the toughest part, however I would suggest that this is where the gift of discernment. If we internalize the scriptures as we study them, we can see how they can be applied to situations that we have been in, or family and friends have been through, we can apply God’s truth to understanding our situation. Bring the scriptures into life in order that you can empower others with the knowledge that leads to comfort and peace in their lives

Remember leaders, you are influencers, what you do and say will impact the lives of people into the future. Leadership is not authority, it is responsibility. Hebrews 13:7 implies that we should consider the spiritual leaders that came before us, influenced us and reproduced Christ’s likeness in us. It is now our responsibility through our studies and influence, to mold the next generation of disciples.


Be a blessing to someone today,


Obedience: Another stepping stone toward Servant Leadership


The argument has happened on more than one occasion and for more than reason. The premise of the argument is that I am the adult and you are the child. This discussion revolves around the fact that I pay the car insurance and he preforms that chores that I assign. When the chores don’t get done, I complain about I am holding up my end of the bargain and you didn’t hold you yours. “Fine” he says, “then I will just give you the money for the insurance.” Then, here it comes, I blurt out, “I don’t want your money, I want your obedience.” Wow, did I say that? “I want your obedience.” Really? My dad said that to me. His father probably said that to him. Then it dawns on me, our Eternal Father has said that to us “I want your obedience.”

So Samuel said: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”  – 1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV)

Being demanding, dictatorial and authoritarian doesn’t sound very “leaderly”, if I can coin a phrase. We are supposed to be communicative, empowering, enabling, supportive. How can I stand there and demand obedience? God expects obedience and I do my best to give it, not because God requires it, but because God has earned it.

As leaders we can expect plenty of things out of the people we lead. Respect, obedience, performance, attention, concurrence but that is positional authority. We are instilled with positional authority by title or rank only, it’s power comes primarily out of fear of retribution. There are plenty of  “leaders” who wield that type authority but not Servant Leaders.

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. – Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
If we want to be Servant Leaders, we must earn the right to be obeyed. Our leadership is conditional on leading with a servants heart, to build a rapport with others, to show that we strive to make lives better by our willingness to serve others. Leadership is influence over the hearts and minds of other people. As servant leaders, we must instill confidence and obedience in those we hope to lead, by showing our integrity and our commitment to serve others  “because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” We as servant leaders know that we will have to give an account in this world as well as the next.
Be a blessing to someone today.

Ten Building Blocks for Foundational Leadership


We have heard it before, Leadership is influence, nothing  more, nothing less. Developing the building blocks of effective leadership for young leaders is often a challenge. Positional authority is mesmerizing and intoxicating. We grow up experiencing a world of positional authoritarians. Young leaders may believe that authority is control whereas experienced leaders grow to realize that authority is responsibility, responsibility to engage, connect and to energize. Young leaders must learn that it is not about themselves, it is about others and leadership is about them.

10 Building blocks for Foundational Leadership:

  1. Building influence is a “from the ground up” proposition. Build credibility at every level of the organization.
  2. Build genuine report with the worker bees. Learn their trials and tribulations, their hopes and aspirations. We all have them and theirs are just as important as yours.
  3. The “doers” in the business, the ones that get their hands dirty, are the ones that ultimately deliver the goods or service to the customer, remember that.
  4. Since the doers deliver the goods or service to the customer, they are vital to the success of your company. Thank them for that.
  5. The “doers” are the ones that will get you out of binds in the future, remember that. Remember to thank them for going the extra mile, they will remember that.
  6. Help everyone to understand their importance to the business so that they can connect with the big picture.
  7. Engage everyone in developing a vision of the future. Most people want the business to succeed, if they are engaged in the future they are committed to the present.
  8. Celebrate successes, no matter how small, for successes breed confidence and passion.
  9. Take note of and root out indifference. Ambivalence is a sign of disengaged individuals. Connect with these persons to see what motivates them.
  10. Foster relationships with those that have a positive passion for growing and building and are willing to take the responsibility to make it happen.

Building a strong foundation is vital for success and longevity for so many aspects of our lives. Realizing that the success and failure of a business, in many ways, is dependent on the leadership provided at every level means that we must, as leaders, lay our foundation at the bedrock of the organization.

Facing Reluctance

The calling of Servant Leadership.


“I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives” – Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 (NKJV)

What a blessing it must be to know that you are doing what you are meant to do, where you are meant to do it and for whom you meant to do it. That God has a purpose for you. In Christian circles we often hear the phase “heard the calling” meaning of course, that someone had been called into the ministry. A lifetime of devotion to learning the word of God, ministering to his people, tending his flock and trying to be the best example of Christ’s love that you can be. You know, the holy folks that we go to see faithfully, almost every week. These are the chosen ones.

I believed this. Knowing that every church, in every town needed at least one pastor, minister, priest, rabbi (whatever name you give them) needed a leader. That means that somehow, somewhere,  people were making a commitment to become something that God needed them to be, something that God wanted them to be. That must be a glorious feeling, to be wanted and needed by God! I admit, back in the day, I listened for that calling. It didn’t come.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  – Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

I decided that mine was to be a calling of a more secular nature, to be in the world but not of the world. The skills and talents that God had given to me  before I was born apparently were not to be called into His service. I was to live my life as the best Christian that I could be, to live out my faith, to be an example to others but I was not “called”.

Over the years, however, I have come to realize that the Great Commission did not mean only a few were meant to make disciples of all nations. We are all called by God to serve others, whenever and wherever we are placed. Being “called” means going wherever God wants us to go and to be his faithful servant. As servant leaders, we are called to be examples, shining lights on the hillside, to all around us. We are called to grow, empower and enrich others, to serve others in the example of Jesus.

If we are faithful and obedient, we will have a God-given task which occupies our days, in the season in which He “plants” us there and in which we can take much joy, knowing that we have been “called” into His service. He has put eternity into our hearts, follow it with passion knowing that He will be with us until the very end of the age.

Be A Blessing to someone today!

Servant Leadership: Authenticity and the Spiritual Journey

Linked 2 Leadership


Leading with a Noble Purpose and pursuing a life of service to others only becomes authentic, dynamic and revitalizing when your spiritual practice evolves to the higher stages.

Until then it is mainly a “prepersonal” exercise firmly anchored to your egocentric self.

Being Selfless or Selfish

Leading without a spiritual purpose boils down to a simple ego-boosting technique that may make you feel better, but it will not lead to authenticity and into the ranks of the BIG L Leader.  Doing good and being your highest self is not the same thing.  Doing good can have at its essence an inflated ego drive – at a prepersonal level.

Authenticity and right motives may be repressed by the cocoons of denial and self-deception always assuring you of what a good person you are.  When in reality, Authentic Servant Leadership requires brutal self-honesty (as to your true intentions) and that you truly…

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Servant Leaders: You are not like the others.


“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20: 25 – 28

Among the images that race through our thoughts during Holy week, one that resonates with me is servant heart that Jesus displayed throughout His season on earth. He could have come as a king, the people fed by the miracle of the loaves and fishes were ready to submit themselves to the rule of Jesus, make him their King. But Jesus wanted no part in that, rather He wanted, He needed, to fulfill His destiny as servant of the people and of His father.

On the night before He was arrested, Jesus served communion to His disciples to illustrate the sacrifice that He was about to make for them and the rest of the world. He could have allowed those around Him to comfort Him and cater to Him in those last hours but rather Jesus committed one more act of servitude to the disciples, He washed their feet.

On this Maundy Thursday, remember that it is easy to try and lord over others, to control people around you, but as Christians it is “Not so with you”. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others. While He gave His life as a ransom for the sins of many, He left behind atonement and a servants heart for each of us that desire it and believe.

Be a blessing to someone today.

Choices in servant leadership.


To me Margaret Thatcher is one of those individuals that truly embodies Ecclesiastes 3:

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven

For those of us that were around in that “season”, we were fortunate to have two great leaders in both Thatcher and Ronald Reagan whose seasons were defined by not only the times in which they lived but also by the strength of their profound faith in God. They projected their faith in God in all that they did, but they also projected their faith in us, as peoples of our counties, of the world, and of the Kingdom of God. In retrospect, whether you cared for their politics, as Christians we should embrace their commitment to the providence of God as the guiding hand for their leadership.

With the recent passing Margaret Thatcher, I came across an interview that she gave after she left office that captures how she embodied her faith in to her very public works. Thatcher identified three “distinctive marks” of Christianity.

  1. Man has been “endowed by God with the fundamental right to choose between good and evil.”
  2. That as creatures in God’s image “we are expected to use all our own power of thought and judgement in exercising that choice,” with divine guidance if we “open our hearts to God.”
  3. That “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when faced with His terrible choice and lonely vigil, chose to lay down His life that our sins may be forgiven.”

We are responsible for our own actions and inaction, our choices and indifference, they all manifest themselves as our moral fiber and integrity. Each of us is simultaneously blessed and burdened with free will and self-determination, to travel as the true north of our moral and spiritual compass dictates.

If we are to be Christians, truly following the example of Christ, we must know that our choices, our decisions, our judgement, impacts our relationship with God.

We are expected to trust and love God above all and to love other as ourselves. If our choices, our decisions, our judgement, is egocentric and self serving then we fall short of God’s expectations of us.

If we are to lead ourselves, our families and those around us, as servant leaders we must listen to our calling from God and obey the examples put forth by Jesus as he lived out his “season” on earth.  Make choices grounded in the laws laid down by God and the principles exemplified by Jesus. “Choose ye this day whom you will serve”.

What choices you will make today?

Be a blessing to someone today!

Exhibit: Finding Purpose in The Great Flood of ‘88


Understanding your purpose and counting your blessings.


So, what does the “Flood” thing have to do my banner illustration?

My banner art this month is what I call my on-going “Tree Project”.  There is a tree I observe on the western horizon at our home which serves as the centerpiece for many sunset photos of which I can’t resist taking with my trusty ten-year-old Sony Mavica CD400.  I have hundreds of these pictures; and when I began to compile them to see what I’d captured with intent to “commit art” (as my husband suggests), I was thrilled upon combining the images, to find the emerging stained-glass patterns of light and color created by various weather and seasons.  I love that the tree stands stalwart through seasons of storm and glorious sunsets; in darkness and in light.  It stands as a reminder that faithfulness pays off.  There are days when we stand surrounded in drabness and cold, and…

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Be the Enabler

When you hear the term “enabler” there is usually a negative connotation associated with it. If you know or are associated with someone who has a destructive habit (drinking, gambling or drugs, for example) and we allow it to continue without challenging the problem, we are feeding the problem. By ignoring the problem we can become an enabler of the problem because we enable the problem to continue without a resolution. We can become as culpable for the problem as the person with the problem. In this instance being an enabler is bad but it’s causation has a seemingly good rational:

Enabling behavior is born out of our instinct for love.   It’s only natural to want to help someone we love, but when it comes to certain problems — helping is like throwing a match on a pool of gas. – Pam’s Planet

We permit the destructive behavior to continue because we love and care for the person and we don’t want to hurt them by confronting the issue head-on. Negative enabling can also happen within our organizations as well. For example, if we fail to confront people who breed negativity and dissention, we are doing a disservice to the organization and the people within it. By failing to correct the problem, we are enabling it.

As leaders, we are called to care for and serve the people around us; whether it be in our family, our church, our workplace or in our small groups. We are called to show empathy and compassion. We are called to influence and guide. We are called to empower and ENABLE. Oops, there is that word again. However as leaders we are called to be Enablers, but this time we have a positive connotation for the word “Enabler”.

An Enabling leader is passionate about finding ways to actively engage people in working on the issues that affect their organizations and themselves. – About Enabling Leadership.

There are two ways that we as effective leaders can be Enablers.

  1. Create an environment where others can grow and become the best they can be, to maximize their potential.
  2. Create an environment where potential leaders can grow to become exceptional leaders themselves.

The first way is to create a culture of openness, communication, empowerment, clear expectations, risk/reward and support. These concepts allow persons to have a greater sense of comfort with their position. We can help them understand their role in the big picture, to help bring meaning to their work and to feel comfortable with the choices that they make in doing their job. Leaders as Enablers, can create more effective and confident employees.

The second way is to create a culture of introspection, challenging thought, empathic consideration and service. We must teach potential leaders to delegate and empower others, to create a culture of accountability and responsibility for decisions made and unmade. We must also train them to communicate and engage those around them. As effective leaders, we are called to create more leaders, to reproduce ourselves. We are called to teach others to be Enablers, to teach them to empower and serve others.

 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6, (KJV)

So we see that the term “Enabler” can and does have a positive connotation; that it can mean adding value to someone. With apologies to Pam’s Planet, – For effective leaders, Enabling behavior is born out of our instinct for love.   It’s only natural to want to help someone we love. Enabling someone is like throwing a match on a pool of gas, igniting the passion for service. Your challenge is to be the Enabler and to empower the people around you, wherever you find yourself.

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