How would you answer these three questions:
- Is God leading you on a path of deepening faith and discovery in your role as a leader
- Do you believe He cares as much about your spiritual development as He does your vocational success?
- How does God teach you?
Consider your answers and see if they don’t paint a picture of a journey of faith where God is primarily concerned with your growth as a child of God and the process of seeing you conformed to the image of Christ. If that is true, then how does God teach you as you progress along that journey?
Here’s my answer, God teaches me through the trials and challenges that come my way. That is, He uses what I refer to as ‘problems and trials’ as the teaching tools for His work in me.
If that is true for you, then shouldn’t our first reaction to these problems be to ask, ‘what is God wanting to teach me in this?’ In other words, as steward leaders shouldn’t we view all of our trials and difficulties as rich opportunities that God will use to deepen our faith, build our trust in Him and equip us to be better prepared to live and lead for His glory? Paul seems to indicate this when he wrote:
“Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
The opposite of this ‘learning mindset’ is the desire to get out of difficulties as quickly as we can. We are tempted to see every trial as a snare from which we must free ourselves as quickly and painlessly as possible. But could it be that in our drive to find quick solutions we leaders end up missing the important opportunity to grow in Christ that lies enmeshed in every problem?
Perhaps our prayer in the face of trials should be, “Lord, keep me right here, right in the center of this problem until I have learned all that you would teach me, so I may come away closer to you and more fully conformed to the image of your Son.” How would that prayer change your attitudes toward your problems, re-shape your leadership style and impact the ways you measure success?
Life’s struggles are God’s curricula. I pray that we, as steward leaders, will all become attentive students who focus on His lessons first before we pursue our solutions.
Dr. Scott Rodin has been in not-for-profit leadership and consulting for twenty-five years. He has served as counsel to over 100 organizations across the country and in Canada and Great Britain including colleges, seminaries, schools, churches, para-church ministries and other not-for-profit organizations. Visit his blog at Kingdom Life Publishing.
The 2014 CLA National Conference in Dallas presents the Steward Leader Initiative Summit on April 14, 2014. Follow the link to discover more about what will be happening in this new and exciting summit! Be sure to register your entire team.
Summit presenters include:
- Zenet Maramara, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Biblical Stewardship, Manilla, Philippines
- Brian Simmons, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Education of Ed.D. and Ed.S. programs Columbia International University
- R. Scott Rodin, Ph.D, President Rodin Consulting, Inc.
- Jim Liske, CEO Prison Fellowship