7 Powerful Convictions of a With God Leader
When I started my leadership journey, I was convinced that leading would be easy. I thought that, if I had a compelling vision, people would willingly follow me. I thought that working with people to accomplish a shared goal would be simple.
But those convictions did not last long. Visions always had more obstacles than I expected. People were not always quick to join in. Meaningful goals were never easy to accomplish. My convictions needed to change.
The word “conviction” comes from the Latin word convincere. This word was formed by combing two other Latin words: Con, meaning “with” and Vincere, meaning “Conquer.” Our English word has taken on the idea of “conquering,” “overcoming” or “defeating someone in an argument.”
When you say that you are convicted of an idea, you have allowed that belief to conquer you. You have subjected yourself to it because you believe that it is true.
Your leadership is based on convictions. These ideas will shape your leadership. And they will shape the lives of your followers.
So you must know what your convictions are. And you must make sure that your leadership is formed upon solid convictions.
With God Leaders base their leadership on 7 Core Convictions:
1. The highest calling on your life is life with God.
While you, as a With God Leader, value leadership, leadership is not your highest calling.
The highest calling on your life is God himself. It’s not
- to do things for God,
- get things from him,
- merely obey him, or
- live by his principles.
The highest calling is God. Your highest calling is the With God Life. (For more on this check out With by Skye Jethani or Life With God by Richard Foster).
Because the highest calling on your life is God, the highest calling on your leadership is to lead others to experience the With God Life. This responsibility is not only for pastors and professional ministry leaders. Every leader, no matter the field, can lead in ways that lead others closer to God.
2. Everything you do has everything to do with Jesus Christ.
Christians often separate the sacred and the secular. They believe that church leadership is sacred but marketplace leadership is secular — and, therefore, something that God doesn’t care much about.
But a With God Leader believes that everything you do has everything to do with Jesus Christ. God created the world and declared all of it to be very good (1 Tim. 4:4–5).
There is no part of creation — and no part of a person’s life or leadership — that God does not care about.
A With God Leader positions every part of his or her life under the gracious reign of God.
3. Your first task is to discern where God is leading and join him in it.
With God Leadership flows out of the With God Life (conviction #1). The With God Life teaches you that God is with you every moment of the day.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the grave, still you are there” (Psa. 139:7–8).
Jesus promised to be “with us always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
He promised to “never leave us nor forsake us” (Heb. 13:5).
God goes with you every moment of the day. Even in your leadership.
- He is with you when you need to have the difficult conversation with your employee who is not meeting company expectations.
- He is with you when your child has disobeyed you (again) and you need guidance in dealing with her (again).
- He is with you in the midst of the strategic planning session in which you need to uncover the direction of your organization for the next 5 years.
For this reason, With God Leaders seek to discover where God is leading and join him in it. Discernment is one of the most important practices that a leader can learn. This spiritual discipline helps you hear and respond to the voice of God in the midst of everyday life.
4. Your leadership reflects Jesus Christ — for good or bad.
Because you are created in the image of God, your leadership reflects him.
Because Jesus is THE image of God, your image reflects his image (Heb 1:3).
Your leadership reflects the image of Jesus — for good or for bad.
When people see your leadership, they develop an image of who Jesus is, what it means to follow him, and even how he feels about them.
With God Leadership seeks to accurately reflect Jesus Christ in your leadership.
5. Your leadership flows from relationship.
Often people believe that leadership is all about results. But leadership is about both results (see conviction #6) and relationships.
God is a relational God — eternally three persons and one divine Essence. He created humanity to be in relationship — not only with him but also with each other. He declared (before sin ever entered the world) that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18).
With God Leadership flows from relationships.
First, it flows from an abiding relationship with Jesus. Jesus said, “If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you cannot do anything” (John 15:5).
Second, your leadership flows from your relationships with your team, followers, family and the leaders above you.
Have you ever worked for someone who made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with you? They didn’t ask about your family? About your passions? About how you spent your weekend?
Did you consider that person a true leader? Or just a boss?
With God Leadership values relationships.
6. With God Leaders value results.
Some leaders are so focused on building relationships that they fail to accomplish what God has called them to do.
Leaders get results. In fact, With God Leaders are often passionate about measuring results.
Throughout Scripture, you can see that measurement matters to God.
In Acts, Luke records the number of people who were influenced by the gospel message.
Paul writes that the fruit (i.e. measurement) of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23).
John records that in the New Heaven and New Earth there will be people from “every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group” (Rev. 7:9) which means that this will matter enough to measure.
Measurement matters. With God Leaders do not downplay the importance of measurement. They simultaneously recognize that God is sovereign over the results, but that leaders walk with God to discover and strive for his desired results. If you believe that God has called you to accomplish a result, you need measurement in order to ensure that it is accomplished.
With God Leaders certainly value relationships, but they also value the accomplishment of the God-ordained vision.
7. Developing your leadership character and competency is an act of worship.
Many people think of “worship” only as singing. But worship is anything that draws you closer to Christ and brings glory to him. Because everything you do has everything to do with Jesus Christ (conviction #2), anything has the potential to be worship!
With God Leaders believe that developing leadership character and competency is an act of worship. Attention to your own growth leads people to see Jesus more clearly.
Learning to lead is an act of humility as you acknowledge that you still need to grow.
Learning to lead is an act of dependence as you admit your need for God to continue working in you and through you.
Learning to lead is an act of praise as you acknowledge that there is only One who can truly accomplish the vision.
As a With God Leader, you have the opportunity to continually develop your leadership character and competency. In fact, the development of your leadership competency demonstrates your character. If you don’t care about your leadership competency, that is a character flaw!
Your core convictions will shape your leadership and the lives of your followers. These 7 convictions demonstrate the characteristics of a With God Leader.
Questions: Which of these core convictions do you need to focus on in the coming week? Are there other core convictions that you think should be added?