Building a Philosophy

Let’s talk some more about our role as myMISSION leaders.

Here are some questions to help you decide how you will lead and what kind of leader you want to become. This would make for a good journaling activity. Think about each question and journal your answers so that you can come back in a few months and evaluate how you are doing.

  1. Who do I think of as an effective leader? Why do I respect this person’s leadership?
  2. What do I believe makes an effective leader?
  3. How do I want to impact the lives of those I lead? How will I need to lead in order to do so?
  4. When I leave this leadership role, what do I want people to remember?
  5. What does the Bible teach about leadership? Consider spending some time reading the stories of leaders like Paul, Joshua, Abraham, Elijah, Deborah, Nehemiah, Moses, and Peter, and note the leadership traits that God used to accomplish His mission through their leadership. Study leaders like Samson, Saul, Solomon, and David. What are some of the personal choices they made that affected their leadership influence? Spend some time reflecting on specific verses like Proverbs 4:23; Philippians 2:3; Luke 6:31; Matthew 20:26; and Luke 22:26. What do these verses communicate to you concerning the way you lead?
  6. Survey the gospels, focusing on the interactions of Jesus with His disciples. What are the qualities Jesus exhibited as a leader with His disciples? Write down any words Jesus said that you think apply to the way He would be calling you to lead others.
  7.  After you have answered questions 5 and 6, review your answers to questions 1 through 4. What adjustments do you need to make in any of those responses based on your biblical study?

Answering these questions will help you develop your leadership philosophy. Upside-Down Leadership by Taylor Field and The Nehemiah Factor [link to both of these in the WMU store] by Frank Page are books that can aid you in learning about missional leadership too. As your leadership experiences build and you grow in your relationship with Jesus, your leadership philosophy will develop. Build in time to revisit your philosophy as a missional leader and revise it as God leads.

Adapted from Women on Mission Leader, “Developing a Leadership Philosophy” by Clella Lee (Winter 2015–2016)

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