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July 2014 - Leadership Lessons from Romans, 1st Corinthians, and 2nd Corinthians

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These books contain many leadership lessons, but here are three every leader should learn.

Romans: Leaders understand the importance of relationships. In the first eleven chapters, Paul gives a clear explanation of doctrine and theology.  The remaining five chapters apply the doctrine and theology to life now.  Chapter twelve opens with Paul saying the message of the gospel should transform us. Then verses three through twenty-one tell how we are to relate to others.  The list includes, but is not limited to humility; using our gifts; being loving, kind, diligent, hopeful, patient, and empathic; and overcoming evil with good.  These character traits are not limited to religious faith, but apply to all human interaction and are crucial for effective leadership. Theodore Roosevelt said, "The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people." This statement applies especially to leaders.

First Corinthians: Leaders build unity and community. Paul begins by stressing the importance of unity or what we often refer to today as building community and the realization that all persons in an organization need to pool their resources and skills.  Paul re-emphasizes this point in chapter twelve by comparing the church to the human body with its many parts. Leaders must build team unity and community.  Pulling together as community is crucial for the well-being of all groups and organizations—families, clubs, corporations, and nations.  Consider these words: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union . . . “  And we are “ . . . one nation, under God, indivisible . . .”  The founders and earlier leaders of the United States of America had it right.   

Second Corinthians: Leaders don’t let discouragement defeat them. Paul had reason to be discouraged, but he summed up the right response: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (4:8-9). Once leaders set out on a thought-out vision and course of action, they need to be like woodpeckers who just keep on pecking till they get the job done.  Years ago I heard Norman Vincent Peale speak at the civic center in Montgomery, Alabama, He said, “Don’t let discouragement lead to negative thinking.  Think positive; it is always too soon to quit!"

Leaders must build relationships; build community; and defeat discouragement.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

July 2014 - Leadership Lessons from Romans, 1st Corinthians, and 2nd Corinthians
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