Whether we lead an institution, a church, a small group, a Sunday School class or our family we can all probably agree that leadership is a challenging task.
Leading people requires skill. However, it is not the only element required to lead effectively. The psalmist said: 'And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them'. We need a blend of character and ability to lead successfully.
There are some people who exude natural leadership and others who have worked quietly and consistently at enhancing their abilities to lead with competence. Whatever the case leading is tough work.
Leadership is a huge topic, but I want to emphasize the importance of leading with words. I think our speech is important, what we say and how we communicate are both vital elements of leadership. If we are passionate leaders we want to see people reach their potential. And I am of the opinion that our words are an integral component to leading people.
So, why are words so important for the leader?
1. Our words can inspire hearts and minds: I have sat in seminars and listened to some of the most brilliant minds and have come away empty and frustrated at wasting my time. Why? Because clever words do not inspire. The leader who inspires people is the one who understands that their words need to be sincere, honest and authentic. My heart has been stirred by people whose words are married to their lifestyle. Some of the defining moments of my life have been listening to an inspiring leader who has challenged me at the core of my being.
2. Our words can heal: Proverbs says; "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver'. Choice words can guide people, bring clarity to situations, and save them from making mistakes. Words are powerful. Wise words can heal and unwise words can bring untold destruction.
3. Our words can challenge: Sometimes we have to be brutal to be kind. There is a difference between being nice and being kind. If someone sings terribly and I tell them they have a good voice, I might be trying to be nice, but I am definitely not being kind. Sometimes leaders need to be brutally honest with people and that honesty can be challenging, but when those words are heeded they can change the course of someone's life and their destiny.
Words are important. We need to use our words wisely and sparingly. If you are a leader you need to learn to articulate in a simple and clear manner. Yes, we lead by example but we also need to use words to inspire, to challenge and to direct.
My prayer is that your words would inspireand encourage someone today.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,