April 3, 2017

Joyful Leadership

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A Note from Luminex: This morning’s blog post is the fourth in a 10-week series on leadership. Enjoy!

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Hebrews 13:17

I love the picture of leadership that the author of Hebrews paints for us as he closes his letter.  Leadership that is a joy and not a burden.  Joyful leadership is a powerful idea and often an elusive target for both leaders and those whom they lead.

I want to suggest three principles that promote joyful leadership in the church and in any organization.

  1. The Joy of Confidence:  Leaders who have built trust with the co-leaders and co-laborers with whom they lead are far more likely to experience joy in their work.  Trust and confidence require daily deposits into the “trust accounts” of everyone in the community.  Making and keeping promises, forgiveness, gracious speech, encouragement, clear expectations and accountability all lead to this kind of confidence. All of this is suggested in Hebrews 13:17.
  2. The Joy of the Gospel:  Luke affirms that the Gospel is “good news of great joy.”  When our work is focused on the joyful Gospel that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself through his life, death, and resurrection, then joy can flow freely.  We need daily reminders that we have been set free by the Gospel, we have our identity in the Gospel, and we know our destiny through the Gospel.  Preaching the Gospel not only to our congregations and to our communities but to our own hearts is one of the enduring keys to joyful leadership.
  3. The Joy of Life:  “A joyful heart has a continual feast” – Proverbs 15:15.  Many Christians and some Christian leaders lack a sense of what the French call joie de vivre (the joy of life).  The painful circumstances of our lives, which are very real, often swallow up our sense of the wonder and beauty of the life that God has created for us. In every day there is something to celebrate, something to laugh about, some wonder to enjoy.  Having a sense of humor about the problems and paradoxes of leadership can be a continual well of joy and perspective.

Together, we could add many other forces and factors that lead to joy.  Where have you found joy in leadership? What has robbed you of joy?  What steps can you take to recover that joy?  Courage, my fellow leader, and joy be yours!   

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