"Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." James 3:1
I have always had trouble understanding people who are ambitious to be the leader. We see a lot of those these days.
Being shy by nature, I shied away from leadership. Early in my life you could have characterized me as a reluctant leader. It seemed like whenever there was a class election at school I would end up nominated and then once I get nominated I usually got elected.
I think I was elected either class president or vice-president most years from middle school on through college. Some of those years I ran for the office and some years it didn't. It didn't seem to matter.
When I started playing Little League baseball and the coaches started assigning kids positions, they put me at catcher. I sooned learned that the catcher is the leader on the field.
As a basketball player I became a point guard - another leadership position.
Leadership seemed to seek me. I am not boasting I am just sharing how it happened in my life.
By the time I got to college and I knew I would be studying for ministry, I began to embrace leadership since I knew I would one day be called upon to lead a congregation. I recognized how God had His hand on me preparing me to be a leader.
Early in my pastoral ministry I was blessed to gain Dr. John Maxwell as a mentor and a friend. He taught me invaluable lessons about how to lead in a way that honors God and builds churches. While he taught me countless concepts about how to lead, the greatest thing he taught me was the heart of a leader. Like James, he taught that leadership is a sacred responsibility that should be assumed carefully by serious-minded spirit-filled people.
If you want leadership but fail to embrace the responsibility and the accountability, you will set yourself on a path to failure.
You will, in fact, lead. But where will you be leading people? What value will you be adding to their lives?
If you find yourself eager to assume a leadership position make sure you are up for the job. Be careful! Make sure the driving force of your desire for leadership is not motivated by selfish motives. Ask yourself, "Why is it that I find myself desiring this position? Is it out of compassion for others and the desire to help them? Or, do I find myself coveting the power and the prestige of getting in a leadership position?"
Don't be too ambitious to rush into leadership. Allow God to prepare you and submit to a mentor who can shape you into a Godly leader. Don't embrace the responsibility until you are willing to receive the correction, the direction and the accountability to those you serve.
In this day we need as many Godly leaders as He can raise up. But we don't need leaders who are self-promoted for purely carnal motives.
Spend some time today reading over these first verses of chapter three and listen to what God wants to say to you about your leadership.