Leadership these days can seem like just a placeholder, as if running in place, neither moving forward or backward.
When all your leadership effort merely keeps the machine of ministry going but does not move the mission forward, it’s difficult to be a force for good that results in positive change.
That can be frustrating, right?!
How can we break out of that pattern?
None of us want to just go through the motions in ministry. Yet, the cumulative nature of fear, setbacks, and division can make real and measurable progress challenging.
And you stepped into ministry because of your calling with a passion for doing good! In fact, to be a force for good!
(After all, who wants to work so hard to have a “mild” impact for good?!)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
Before we look at the steps to help become a force for good, let’s take a brief look at how to be prepared.
It’s a little like going for a run. There are a few things you need to do. Like stretch, put on good running shoes, and know the course you will run.
- Learn to navigate the voices of your critics.
Unending criticism saps your energy and discourages your soul. So instead, learn who to listen to and who you must ignore. Listen to see what you can learn and how you might need to change, but if it’s pointless criticism, let it go and move on.
- Cultivate your own physical, mental and spiritual vitality.
Essentially, this is the question, “Are you taking care of yourself?” It’s the principle of putting your oxygen mask on first, then on your kids. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t help anyone else.
- Put on the armor of God.
We know the battle is not merely against flesh and blood. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
5 practical steps to lead as a force for good:
1) You must believe it’s possible.
It is difficult to lead in such a way as to create a force of momentum in your ministry without believing God can and will use you in this way.
Be careful not to limit the size of God’s blessing by the size of what you believe.
It starts by believing that God is with you in your ministry. Also, believing that He cares about everything you’re responsible for and has the best future interests of your church at heart.
Then, it’s about you believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in your leadership, no one else will either.
God has given you gifts and passion so that you are capable of your calling. This truth is evidence of the potential of competence, which elevates your God-based confidence.
What do you believe?
Can God use you as a force for good?
2) Develop your own voice of conviction.
- What do you care deeply about?
- What is the great burden that resides in your soul?
- What do you weep about or at times lay awake about?
Going through the mundane motions of ministry will never translate to a force for good.
Your burden is the fuel of your passion and the substance of being a force for good.
Where do you hear your own voice rising above the noise in such a way that it lands with a sense of conviction?
This conviction is about the things in life that no one has to convince you of; they are deep in you and compel you to action.
The idea that “force” is a force for good is not about being pushy or demanding. It’s about a conviction that allows you to persevere no matter what for the good of others.
Don’t get stuck in the setbacks, criticisms, and craziness of today; that will only drain you of conviction. Instead, find your voice of conviction and lead from that passion.
3) Focus on what you can change, don’t spin your wheels in busyness.
The assumption of this point is not that you are spinning your wheels in ministry busyness. It does, however, acknowledge how easy it is to slide into a pattern of busyness.
A force for good always involves change; you can’t move forward if everything stays the same.
In addition, helping people follow Jesus more fully and have “life to the full” (John 10:10) is the foundation upon which a force for good is built.
Keep in mind that ministry impact isn’t always grand or dramatic; it’s often in the everyday. What makes it powerful is that in alignment with God’s plan, someone’s life is changed for the good
Becoming a force for good requires having clear intentionality, a focus, and zeal that transforms the everyday into a force to be reckoned with.
What is it that aligns with heaven’s purpose, your passion, and something in which you can effect change?
Be specific and stay focused.
4) When you don’t feel strong, you can still take action.
Becoming a force for good is not based on your ability to always be a “strong” leader. On the contrary, scripture clarifies that even in our weakness, Christ makes us strong.
The point is that no matter how you feel or how you assess your personal leadership strength, you can still take action.
Notice the sequence:
- Believe it’s possible.
- Develop your voice of conviction. (What’s your burden?)
- Focus on what you can change.
- Take action.
Taking action can start with just you; it only takes one leader to start something moving forward, but soon you need to bring other leaders around you to elevate the size and scope of being a force for good.
This is why focus is so important; if you are scattered in your approach, you dampen your overall impact.
5) Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.
God uses men and women to lead; that’s how He set it up. He has chosen you. Yes, there is much on your shoulders; however, it’s not in your power. The Holy Spirit brings power and is the true force in motion.
That is really good news.
Being a force for good is not about your personality, how many degrees you have, or your level of experience. It’s about your dependence upon and obedience to the Holy Spirit of God.
- How do you engage the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Do you sense that power in your ministry today?
- How can you tell when it’s there and when it isn’t?
If you are not sure, a good place to start is to ask God to pour out that power upon you. God does not withhold power from his purposes.
My prayer is that we unite together as a force for good according to God’s purpose and with His power.