I have never been more keenly aware of the enormous responsibility of those who serve in public and private leadership roles. God continues to teach me, through many years of privileged leadership service, both nationally and internationally. I remain a student and admit that every day of my life is consumed with striving to achieve the greater purpose God has for me.
There are three fundamental principles to which, with God’s help, I try to remain faithful. They serve as anchors in my private life as well as in my public leadership. I really want to live the link between those two demanding arenas in which I exist so I can fully embrace the high calling I have been given.
I want my life to honor God. I have been given life in order to discharge a God-intended purpose. I want the principle of “being,” as a man of faith with all that it means to be evident in the way I live and lead I want to be authentic at home and in public. I understand that I must be before I attempt to do the work to which I have been called. “Truth North” for me is leading from a God-centered and ordered life.
Live in community
This is a never-to-be-forgotten principle. No matter what I do or where I arrive in my profession, life is never just about me. That is the non-conventional view of life. In this postmodern period of “me” and “my rights,” serving for the sake of others seems absurd. This moment in America calls for leaders who are intent on making their lives count for a higher purpose. We serve from a conviction that every sector of a community can and must change.
It is time for a new model of leadership to emerge that give flesh to biblical truth. You and I must prove that faith in God does not fracture, but embraces: that such faith does not create confusion, but cares and demonstrates compassion.
Remember that I am called to lead for higher purposes
We do what we do for an outcome that is larger than we could ever imagine. It is for more than personal or organizational profit. We are invested in something that holds more value than a product. There is a bottom line that is more critical than landing on the surplus side of the ledger. I do not live for material success. As a leader under God. I am called to help others believe they too can achieve. There is a deeper intention for the one who lives and leads for God.
Israel Gaither, retired National Commander, The Salvation Army. This post is an excerpt from Non Profit Leadership in a For-Profit World: Essential Insights from 15 Christian Executives. (Standard 2011).
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