What Every Leader Needs #9: Integrity

*A blog series on what every leader needs to be effective in serving Christ* In today’s culture, integrity is a dying characteristic of leadership. In order for leadership to be healthy, the foundation of it must be trust and integrity. Basically, if the walk does not match the talk, a leader will crumble. Integrity means, "possessing a high degree of moral character." Integrity is a hot, spicy leadership word that we all support! Daniel 1:3-20 - Daniel set an example by making the best choices when it came to personal health and his lifestyle. Daniel revealed God's wisdom through focusing his life on obeying God. Daniel's life exemplified character and integrity. Daniel made small decisions that eventually paved the way for God to present a major platform for His glory to be shown to multitudes. I hope to learn from Daniel's example of being counter-culture and having integrity, even when those closest to him go the way of the world.

We need to have integrity in our moral choices, marriage and ministry. Integrity is the safest place for a leader to set up camp. We hear a lot about going out and being adventurous and take chances in order to serve God. You might have heard this at a conference, church or sermon. We have almost taught young leaders that in order to do "great things" for God one must take risks that do not line up with possessing integrity. Integrity is safety because there is no need for us to be watching our back or be worried about being found out. Peace is found through integrity, especially in leadership.  "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out." Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)

Doing what is right is not always easy. As leaders, we are called to integrity no matter the cost. Why? Because we represent and serve a God that deserves our best.

What about integrity when it comes to writing down church attendance? Is it more important to compete with other churches by "rounding up" the attendance? Small group attendance? (I mean, do pregnant women count as two?)

Do we have integrity in our morals? when it comes to the opposite sex? Do we have clear-cut, strong, unapologetic standards in order to protect our marriage, ministry and life?

The details matter. Holding true to promises, showing up on time, returning phone calls and much more are small ways to build a solid reputation. Those that say details are not important might not put too much stock into integrity.

People will eventually take on the personality, habits and attitudes of leadership. This is the one that keeps me in check. In ministry, people watch more what we do than what we preach or teach.

Integrity will continue to be the most important ingredient of leadership throughout time. Healthy leaders must continually be vigilant to be honest in their daily lives in order to achieve God’s plan for leadership.