What is True Leadership?

I wish to share with you my experience as to leadership and what it should be. To do that I am going to
tell you two stories from my past. Both of these stories happened when I was a new believer. I was
different back then. I was raised different and in a hard life style AND I wasn’t very sure about how to
act around people that loved me. Oh, yes I had a loving Mom and Dad and sisters, but, we were a
secular family and I was never around Christians that walked the walk.
Well the first story happened at a picnic. As I said I, was a new believer and not only that, I had never
been around kids/babies and didn’t want to be. Didn’t like ‘em, didn’t understand them and didn’t want
to be around them. At the picnic was an ordained minister who’s name was Ed. He and his wife Barb had
a new baby boy.
I was sitting at a table when Ed came over to me and struck up a conversation. As the conversation went
on the subject of kids came up and I told him my opinion. He asked me if I wanted to hold his son, “No” I
said, but in my mind I was thinking “not just no, but hell no!” At that point he took his son, with one
hand, that’s how small his son was, and thrust him out to me. I ended up taking the child like I had held
a bull frog as a kid, a hand under each are and my arms were straight out hoping the thing didn’t pee on
me. There we were his son and I staring at each other for I don’t know how long. Never did bring him
any closer. I must have looked absolutely silly. Ed finally came over and took his son back, thankfully.
But, you know there was a change in my heart. Not a big one at first, but, a change. I didn’t mind
children after that and I grew to really like children.
Looking back there are so many lessons to be learned about leadership from this one experience I can’t
put them all in this article. However, the first is, men of God have to walk with God and listen to God to
effect change in the hearts and lives of believers. Ed, although he loved his son dearly, let me hold the
poor child like a frog just to help me grow. I don’ think I would have done it if I were him, but, he did.
Another lesson is that men of God are not weak mamby-pambys. Is that a word that is still used today?
You probably know the type, the type that when they shake your hand you feel like you just grabbed a
dead fish. If Ed was any less than what he was I would never have taken that child, never changed.
My other story happened when I went to a minister’s house for dinner. I was thinking about going into
the ministry and this man was the leader of the state. His name was Luke and his wife was Shelly. They
invited me over for dinner. When we sat down to dinner their dining room table and chairs were just
beautiful. They were French provincial, made from cherry wood. The seats of the chairs were a cream colored fabric that had some sort of silk embroidery in them.
For dinner, we had pot roast. Oh, it was grand. The conversation was good, the food was good
everything was going great when the unthinkable happened. A big juicy piece of pot roast jumped
off my fork. You may laugh, but, I swear the thing had legs and use the fork to do a swan dive that went
in between my legs and landed CURSPLAT right on that beautiful embroidered seat. The seat would
never be the same! It would be forever stained. All of my past experiences told me that I would be in for
a storm of anger and condemnation, but, there was none. The chair was cleaned and they did the
strangest thing, they comforted me and loved me. NO condemnation, NO anger, just tenderness and love. Oh, how I loved those people for that! If you only knew what that meant to me at that time! This
gave me a deeper understanding of God’s and Jesus Christ’s love for me.
God says that we are ambassadors in Christ’s stead (II Cor. 5:20.) We have to show forth that light of
God’s Word, the light of grace, the light of peace, the light of mercy the light of love. This is true
It is the goodness of God that leads people to repentance (Rom. 2:4.) You can read the Bible a life time
and, yet, miss the greatness of the stand the men and women took throughout history to be examples
for others to follow.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear:
And the best of all the preachers are the men live their creeds,
For to see good out in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can see your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do.
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how act and how you live.
– Edgar A. Guest
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting time by building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day:You never again will pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wideWhy build you the bridge at your eventide?”
The builder lifted his old grey head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim,
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”
-Will Allen Dromgoole