The Effective Leader ‘C’s: Becoming Leaders of Character
Hey there, friends! Today, we’re diving into something that’s close to my heart – leadership. You know, it’s not just about the tasks we tick off our lists or the roles we play at church or in our communities. It’s about who we are deep down that truly defines our impact. So, grab your coffee and your Bible – I’ve got a word from Acts 20:18 – 24 that I’d like to share with you.
Consistent – Verse 18
Paul, the apostle who faced persecution, beatings, trials, a shipwreck, jail time, and more, stood firm through it all. His message for us – consistency matters. It’s not just about getting things done, but about being unchanging and unwavering in the midst of it all. Consistency means, unchanging in nature, unchanging in standard, unchanging in your effect on others. The Apostle Paul exemplifies consistency. He had every valid reason to quit yet he never bailed. He stayed consistent in all God assigned him to do.
Contrite – Verse 19
Now, I want to spend some time here to talk about humility. We all know what the opposite of humility is – pride. Pride is extremely destructive because it sneaks in without you knowing. We have some vines in East Texas that seem to grow a foot every day, and some was growing in our backyard. These vines were growing all the way up the 90 foot tall pine trees, on the fence into the neighbors yard, and on the side of my house. I couldn’t even see out my kitchen window because the vines had grown over the glass! It took my granddaughter and I a long time to pull all those vines up by the roots. That’s what pride does. It sneaks in, takes root underneath, and pretty soon it’s growing out of control.
If you want to lead like Paul, you have to lead in humility, with a contrite heart – not in pride. Humility is not about downplaying our talents – that’s not what God intended when He gifted us. It’s about recognizing those gifts, using them, and showing the world that we’re living up to the worth Christ paid for us. This is what makes the body of Christ work.
Courageous – Verses 20, 23
Leaders are courageous. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s doing what needs to be done despite the fear. And Paul, oh boy, he had courage in spades! He wasn’t afraid to communicate his convictions, even if it ruffled feathers. Courage means being obedient to God, even when it makes you afraid or uncomfortable.
We can only see the beginning and the present, but God knows the end from the beginning. You can boldy step out in faith when God tells you to do something hard, or that will stretch you, because He knows where you’re going and how it will all work out. In a world that tells you to only do what makes you happy, courageous leaders do what God tells them to do.
Convictional – Verse 21
Paul rocked the boat with his message. He didn’t just preach what was popular; he preached what was true. He challenged norms and upheld biblical principles. So, here’s the thing: we can’t just talk the talk; we’ve got to walk the walk. Let’s be leaders who live out what we preach. We cannot exempt ourselves from living the separate life Paul talked about. It is deceiving to preach it and not live it. As leaders in the Kingdom of God, we have an accountability and a responsibility to live a clean and separate life. If we don’t, deception can come in.
Committed – Verses 22, 24
All of us have committed to something and only to be irritated with ourselves for committing to it. Verses 22 and 24 show us that Paul was committed to fulfill his destiny and finish the ministry the Lord assigned to him. Commitment is doing what you said you’d do, even when you’re tired, you don’t feel like it, you’re discouraged, or your irritated. If you can’t, ask God to make a way out for you; though, sorry, not sorry, He usually does not.
Great leaders don’t just start well, they finish well. Think of all the amazing leaders that saw signs, wonders, and miracles that would astound us today, who did not finish well. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted and pulled away from the ministry that God has assigned you to do. If you said you would do it, just do it.
Captive – Verse 22
Okay, imagine this – being captive to the Holy Spirit. In verse 22, we see that Paul embraced the unpredictability of God’s calling, even when he didn’t have all the answers. Now that’s living life on the edge! I’m the type of person that likes to know, not just the next step, but the next 18 steps. But God doesn’t work like that. He wants us to trust Him with our future.
My 17 year old grandson, Caleb, recently went with the Outreach Team to minister to the homeless on the streets in our city. He was shaking in his boots, but he obeyed. By the end, Caleb was going right up to people, putting a care package in their hands and asking if he could pray with them. When he came back to the church, he carried himself differently; he got some confidence from being obedient.
As leaders, we have to be willing to obey without knowing what will happen. It will build your confidence in the Lord and in your leadership ability. Let’s step out in faith, not knowing every detail, but trusting that God’s got us covered. It’s about surrender, saying, “Lord, I’m all in – lead the way.”
So, my friends, here’s the takeaway: leadership is more about who we are than what we do. It’s about applying these ‘C’s of leadership – consistent, contrite, courageous, convictional, committed, and being a captive to God’s leading – into the the whole of our life. Let’s be leaders like Paul, who changed the world living out these ‘C’s.