Leaders without a passion are merely managers. Managers have their place but management is not synonymous with leadership. Mere managers neither aspire nor inspire. Managers can be leaders but leaders are more than managers. They go beyond organization to inspiration. Inspiration is that effervescent quality that begins within and bubbles over until it touches those who surround you.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1 Timothy 3:16
This is merely one text in which we gain a sense that Paul is in awe of God. He left no doubt in the minds of any where he stood or how he felt about his God. There was no room for ambiguity.
His Own Worst Enemy
I recently visited an electronics store where I discovered a certain item on sale. The normal cost was around $25 but it was marked down to $10. I claimed all three that they had left. When I commented to the manager that this was a good deal, he shot me down. He informed me that I could buy them cheaper online. When I countered with the fact, I would have to pay shipping, he informed me that the online company provided free shipping. This was the manager of the store.
While I appreciate the honesty of this man, he was lacking leadership. He failed to understand the value that his retail outlet provided which was convenience and availability. I needed at least one item immediately. I really didn’t need the other two but was willing to pay that price to have them on hand if I needed them again. Despite the manager’s discouragement to keep him in business, I purchased the items because I saw value in not having to go online, place an order and wait for delivery. The extra savings, at that cost, could not replace the convenience of making a purchase at that moment and having the items on hand.
A Passionate Believer
In contrast, a friend who owns a local music store competes regularly with online providers who sell at greatly reduced prices. He knows his advantage. He is knowledgeable about the product. He services what he sells and he is able to point you to the best value for your money when comparing brand names. He builds personal relationships with his customers which they find valuable and worth paying a little extra for. I’ve even seen him service and improve the quality of his products before he puts them on the showroom floor. That is leadership. He knows the value of what he has and his passion transfers to his customers.
Don’t be a self-defeating leader. While mega-churches have certain advantages, never forget the value of smaller churches. Never feel like you are less because you are not larger. There are more Christians in all of the small churches of America than all the mega churches combined because smaller congregations have value too. Smaller factories and retail outlets have their advantages over the big box stores. A leader knows and believes in the value of his ministry, service or product.
The Awe Factor
Whatever your calling or occupation might be, know and believe in the advantages you possess. Most of all, never get over being in awe of God who has placed you where you are for a reason. If you lose the awe of God, your sense of vision and purpose will stray and decay. Live in awe of a God who does all things well and brings great results out of difficult days.
See also Matthew 7:37, Ephesians 3:18-21 and Romans 8:28.