He “works all things after the council of his own will.” Eph.1:11
I was raised in San Francisco during the 1960s by hippie parents. For several years we ran a commune filled with drugs, sex, rock ‘n’ roll and New Age thought. Almost every weekend we were involved in some political protest such as the war in Vietnam or some other current cause. When I was 14, a political activist who was mentoring me said, “Michael, we will never win the world through protest but if you get your law degree, you can be senator and make the laws that will change our nation. Or if you get your history degree you could be a professor shaping the thoughts and lives of a generation”.
This became a proactive strategy that has shaped the efforts of many radicals over the last five decades and guess what??? IT WORKED! Now, 50 years later the majority of politicians, educators and other key influencers were indoctrinated into beliefs and behaviors that are contrary to a biblical worldview. Over the same period of time, the church has continued to lose ground as the primary influencer of current culture. Someone is changing the world, it’s just not us…! What happened? In order his answer this question we have to look at the nature of leadership.
God is a Proactive Leader
God is a proactive leader. He sees the end from the beginning and he “works things can do the council of his own will”. Proactive Leadership is the key to achieving any long-term outcomes in this life. The problem is that most kingdom-minded leaders in the church and in the marketplace are leading “reactively” rather than proactively.
Reactive leadership is an approach that becomes preoccupied by immediate crises of the moment as a result it is incapable of turning vision into reality. Reactive leadership focuses primarily on problems, issues and urgent needs and tends to ignore long-range purpose and planning. Actually, reactive leader ship is not leadership at all. When the majority of our leadership is determined by problems and urgencies, we are not leading at all…we are actually being led by the circumstances we are facing.
Proactive leadership, on the other hand, does not ignore the momentary crisis but rather focuses on the outcome we envision and makes leadership choices are made in pursuit of the outcome. All we need to do is examine God‘s redemptive plan and you will see the proactive leadership of God. Beginning with Abraham and Sarah, continuing through Moses, the Kings and the prophets, you can see God working in strategic ways throughout the centuries to prepare His people for the incarnation of Jesus and the birth of the Church. Throughout these centuries, God often responded to momentary crisis but never let the momentary problems interfere with His eternal plans.
Kingdom Leader-shift #2: Become More Proactive
The body of Christ is teetering on the precipice of irrelevance but It’s not too late to reverse the tide. The key to reclaiming our influence in individual lives and in society as a whole is this: We must receive a “leadership upgrade” in which we move from reactive to proactive leadership. We must reprioritize the Gospel of the Kingdom and embrace a personal reformation before we can expect a global revival.
The transition to Proactive Leadership must begin first in the heart of the individual leader. This transition is easier said than done. Here are some keys to help you in this journey.
- Repent: The first step is to recognize that reactive leadership is driven by a desire to please people. We must remember that the “fear of man brings a snare” but the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.
- Receive: God has a plan for your life and your leadership. Your job is not to create the plan but receive it through prayer and revelation. For this to happen, it is necessary that you discover and develop your God-given design and destiny.
- Respond: Responsive leadership is the ability to receive God’s vision, set personal and organizational goals, and build a team that can carry out those goals in a way that is consistent with the heart of God.
The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. It’s time for us to make the Leader-shift to a new way of leading. As we each make the personal shift from Reactive to Proactive leadership, I believe God will use our efforts to restore the people of God to the primary position of influence both in the church and in the various spheres of this world.