Our fifth and final Cultural Core Value is Empowering Leadership. This is deliberately meant to indicate both that we empower those who are leaders among us by embracing and valuing their leadership. But also that we believe in empowering everyone to lead well in their own spheres of influence in the church and in the world. The first descriptor for this value is:
Gifts are given as an expression of love and appreciation. Gifts are given to be received, used and enjoyed. They come in all shapes and sizes, some are for enjoyment and pleasure, some are practical and some can help us to develop or improve a skill or deepen an interest. God gives us gifts to bless us and to strengthen us. Sometimes we can even find His gifts in our challenges and trials. The risen and ascended Jesus gives the gifts of leadership to his church to help it to grow to become all that God intends it to become (Ephesians 4:7-16).
Honouring and embracing the leadership of others is an intentional choice. Honouring leadership looks beyond a personality or temperament or faults. It requires us to see the gift of God in a person and to view their actions and efforts through that lens. It requires humility on our own part, laying down of ego, practising forgiveness and grace. Embracing leadership requires conversation (dialogue is so much more fruitful than monologue) and in time this grows commitment, and commitment grows into trust. Embracing our leaders requires openness and vulnerability from all of us. Honesty, integrity and authenticity are keys to growing those relationships that allow us to move forward together in unity, whilst also allowing for diversity and difference.
The gift of leaders and of leadership that God gives to His church for its growth is a good gift. It is given to us in order that we might choose to receive it, honour and embrace it.
Father God, thank you for the gift of leadership and thank you for our leaders. Strengthen them, bless them, give them wisdom to lead well. Jesus, help us to embrace the gift of leadership in those we follow and help us to move in grace and keep our hearts humble and right in our response to their direction. Holy Spirit, strengthen us all in love and unity as we seek to walk into this new day with refreshed minds and renewed vision. Amen