How you measure success in this life will dictate the way you live this life and the legacy you will leave.
“How do you measure success?’ In my work as a consultant for not-for-profit organizations, I am ask this questions at the start of every consultation. I have found that this question, more than any other, helps define and organization’s mission, values and motivations.
The same is true of us as leaders. Each of us carries with us a definition of success for your life and leadership. That definition impacts our attitudes, our actions, and every decision we make.
Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship, has a plaque on his desk for most of the years he ran the ministry. It read, “Not Success, but Faithfulness.” It was a daily reminder to him that success in the kingdom of God was radically different than in the world. In fact, the idea of success itself had to be replaced by a radically new idea, the call to absolute faithfulness for followers of Jesus Christ.
The great challenge for us as leaders is that so often faithfulness as a follower of Jesus Christ will result in things that run absolutely counter to the world’s definition of leadership success. Scriptures absolutely promises this. It tells us that in the kingdom of God we live by dying, receive by giving, lead by serving, become first by being last, and are exalted through humility.
It is, however, more radical than that. Success defined in kingdom terms can be boiled down to one simple definition.
SUCCESS – A life lived daily in an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is in this intimacy that our hearts are changed and our lives transformed, and faithfulness because your driving motivation in every are of our lives.
Are you willing to embrace kingdom values to such an extent that you will measure the success of your leadership solely and completely in terms of your faithfulness as a follower of Jesus Christ, which is born from an intimate relationship with God?
I confess that I have focused my attention on attaining things in this life that look a lot like the world’s definition of success. It is so easy for me to desire financial security, a glowing reputation, popularity, praise and even power in my leadership role. I admit I am pursuing these things and have lost my way. Take me back into your presence, change my heart and help me find intimacy with you. In your presence, change my heart, open my eyes and give me a new vision for my leadership. Instill in me a passion for faithfulness that will overwhelm every other passion in my life. I want to follow you and you alone with all my heart. Come Holy Spirit and guide me into the truth. I give myself back to you for this purpose and in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Dr. Scott Rodin as 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. This post in an excerpt from his latest book, Steward Leader Meditations: Fifty devotions for the Leadership Journey.
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