Are You a F.A.T Leader?
It was some years ago now that I listened to a sermon that has firmly placed itself within my mind and has grown to become one of the cornerstones to my attitude and lifestyle of leadership. In the sermon, the preacher was referring to how we should approach living our Christian lives, but it applies itself equally well to leadership. The acronym F.A.T. was used to highlight 3 key points:
F - FaithfulFaithfulness can manifest itself in many different ways. Are we faithful to our church and its leaders? Do we contradict any gossip we may hear going on? Do we faithfully attend church functions even when we don't feel like doing so sometimes? Are we faithful to the people we lead? Do we turn up to band practise on time / turn up to help set up the room before a meeting? Do we model the behaviour, dedication and commitment we would like to see in others?
Most importantly, are we faithful to God? Do we have a secret lifestyle or habit that contradicts our Christian faith? Will this, if not addressed adversely affect our relationship with God and with those we lead? Do we meet with God on a regular basis, setting aside time for relationship with him - or are we so busy 'leading' that there is no time for relationship with the person it is all about in the first place?
A - AvailableI guess this lies in with commitment and faith. Being available for God to use you in any way He deems fit, and being available for the church, being at their disposal. Are we living our lives in such a way that we are still open to hear from God, and are still willing to change direction if He asks us to? What is our heart attitude when the church requires extra help? Recently my church has acquired some rooms in a local community centre. They were (and parts of them still are) badly in need of a paint-job. The bulletin went out in the church newsletter for a couple of Sundays asking people to come and help paint. In the end, 3 of the church leadership team were the only ones who turned up! I'm glad it was the leaders who were there - they should be! But a little disappointed that others in the church were unavailable. Their priorities do not have the church as high up the list as perhaps it should be?
If we are to successfully build God's Kingdom in our communities, we need to be available - both to God and to His church.
T - TeachableI find it amazing sometimes how some leaders are so teachable while other are definitely not! I know we all have individual learning styles and some are more pre-disposed to learning while others are not. But as leaders, especially when part of the role is to teach, we ourselves should be seeking to learn! It saddens me when I come across leaders who think that there is nothing left to learn about life and about God, that somehow that know it all and have seen it all. God is so big and so vast, so much of Him is way beyond our understanding. Bigger than we can even dream or imagine! How vane and conceited we become when we stop seeking to learn more about him.
It is also a good idea to keep trying to learn more about how to lead and how to communicate better. The more we learn, the more effective we become in what God has called us to do. The more we become like the good and faithful servant in the 'Parable of the Talents' where we have worked on and invested the gifts God has given to us.