What Every Leader Needs #2: Follow Through

  *A blog series on what ever leader needs to be effective in serving Christ*

I enjoy playing golf. I do not play a whole lot but when I do it is a lot of fun! Golf is the most difficult sport known to man (in my opinion). The goal is to hit a small white ball into a 4 1/4 inch hole in the ground from hundreds of yards away. Follow through, especially in the swing is important. I'm always reminding myself to make sure I not only start the swing right, but follow through right. The follow through is what helps guide my swing pattern that ultimately helps the ball fly straight (at least that is what I try to do!). Usually when I slice or hook the ball I freeze my swing at the end and realize that my follow through was off! (along with other problems too). My goal then is to start swinging with a correct follow through to hit it straight.

Follow through is important in leadership to build trust and respect. How many people respect leaders who say they will do something and do not follow through with it? Now, we all forget and make mistakes, especially as leaders. There are huge amounts of pressure on leaders in ministry. Many times the expectation is perfection. People usually will not come out and say it, but there is an "invisible pedestal" that leaders in ministry face. As leaders the goal is to fear God and not man. What this does not mean is that we dislike people! I'm amazed at times at those who decide to go into a profession that mainly deals with people (ministry, teaching especially) and continually complain about people. I know I am guilty of it. But the truth is, we are called to love people. We are called as leaders to follow through with our everyday calling to love people.

We need to follow through with what we say we will do. We need to set an example with how we use our words. Many times I have failed in this area and have either forgotten a commitment I made or used my words in a hurtful way. What I'm realizing more and more is that our culture is filled with leaders who say one thing (especially politicians) and do another. Why is this the case? Should leaders in the church be different? I say, yes!

Are we so "busy" that we do not realize the power of words? I'm not sure I have the answer but one thing I do realize is that there are plenty of students I serve that have not seen many examples of what it means to follow through with commitment. Every leader needs a commitment to simply do what they say they will do. Whenever we make a statement, we need to take into account those who are listening and add value to their life by following through! When a leader follows through it builds trusting relationships and fruitfulness in leadership. Lastly, why is it important today? Because the greatest leader (Jesus!) followed through in everything!

"Who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very  natureof a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:6-8