There are three things that I believe should be on a leader’s stop doing list for 2016. Don’t let these rob you of the abundant life God has for you this year
New Year’s resolutions are usually comprised of things we need to start doing. I want to challenge leaders to make a commitment to stop doing three things in 2016. Why? They each put us in bondage and rob us of the full and abundant life God created us to live.
#1 – Stop Playing the Owner
We may believe the statement, “God owns everything” but we can be tempted live and lead like owners. God’s ownership is good in theory, but practically, day-by-day, we really believe that this stuff is ours.
The spiritual reality is, whatever we think we own ends up owning us. So be honest with yourself, were you in bondage to the things you pretended you owned in 2015?
Things like your finances, your programs, your people and your future? The fruit of ownership is stress, fear, anxiety, discouragement and depression. All of these are tied to our desire to play the owner.
Take an honest assessment of whether you lead last year in the bondage of an owner or the freedom of a steward? If it was living as an owner, make a commitment today to STOP. Start 2016 by embracing the joyful call to give everything back to God and take your proper place as a steward of what is God’s and God’s alone. Read Matthew 6:25-34 every day, until it permeates your spirit and changes your attitudes to that of a steward.
#2 – Stop Fixating on Doing
A nefarious tactic of the enemy is to get you so focused on what you are trying to do for God that you have no time left for what God wants to do in you. Sound familiar?
Too many of us are doing ourselves to death, and justifying it by claiming it is ‘God’s work’.
2016 is a great time to STOP. Christ did not come to give us more to do, to fill our days, nights and weekends with endless tasks or to call us into jobs that burn us out and leave us exhausted. That is the lie of the enemy. Stop believing it!
Jesus asked us to follow Him, and He reminded us that His burden is easy and His yoke is light. His deepest desire is that you grow as a faithful, obedient and joyful child of God and disciple of Jesus Christ. The fruit He is looking for is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Remember Mary and Martha. Take these words seriously in 2016: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Matthew 10: 41-42)
Only one thing is needed! One thing! What is that one thing – it is Jesus; knowing him, loving Him and following Him at the expense of everything else. If we have our focus on following him as leaders, all of our doing will be more likely to be Spirit-led and aligned with His will.
#3 – Stop Being Afraid
Throughout Christmas we heard the words, ‘Fear not’. The angel said it to Mary and the host of angels said it to the shepherds. It is the most common phrase in Scripture. Why? Because the enemy wants us to live and lead in fear. Look back at 2015 and ask yourself honestly how often a spirit of fear dictated your attitudes and actions. Fear of failure, fear of being wrong, fear of losing reputation, fear of not living up to the expectations of others, fear of the things that might happen… we can struggle with some or all of these.
Ownership and fear are integrally connected. For this reason, being a steward leader equips us to embrace the command to ‘fear not.’ Victory over fear starts with surrender. The more fully we give our lives and our leadership to Christ, the deeper sense of peace we will know. Commit to the depths of daily surrender that will yield a heart set free from fear in 2016.
There is a more abundant, fulfilling and impactful life for you as a leader in 2016. Stop playing the owner, fixating on doing and giving in to fear. Make 2016 the year of embracing the role of steward, pursuing Christ-likeness and experiencing victory through daily surrender. Start today, don’t delay.
Here’s to 2016!
R. Scott Rodin will be teaching at the Intensive Training Institute held at The Outcomes Conference: CLA Dallas, April 19-21, 2016. His session is called Leading as Stewards Amid Cultural Chaos. Register before January 31, 2016 and save!