Craig Johnson opened his session with some of the surprises that he encountered in ministry. A few things like
- People aren’t always nice.
- Leaders are territorial.
- People didn’t always like his ideas.
After being faced with some of these things, he did the natural thing… look for a new job in the classified ads. 🙂 Then, he began to think rationally again and starting pondering some things about leadership. Here are four keys to leadership according to Craig Johnson.
People who aren’t willing to come under authority probably shouldn’t be in authority. Consider David and his relationship with King Saul. In 1 Samuel 18, we see David playing the harp for the king. When Saul becomes enraged and throws the spear at David, David doesn’t respond in anger. In the same way, sometimes we will work for good kings and sometimes we will work for angry kings. Before we can submit to the leadership above us, we need to submit to the authority to God. Did God call you to this place? This ministry? This church? If so, you shouldn’t be looking in the classified ads, dreaming of a better job. You should be submitting to the authority God has placed you under.
You have to be brave to be loyal. In our society, it’s so easy to cut out — to leave. To take a hike when the going gets rough. Loyalty demands that we stick around and work it out. Craig recalls a time when he was really struggling with submission. “How can I work with this person?!?”, he thought. “They don’t listen to good ideas! They are doing things wrong!” In response, the Lord said to him, “You serve him until I call you to serve another.”
We might not always agree with the person God places in authority. But that doesn’t matter. As David says, “This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD’s anointed.’ (1 Samuel 24:10)
Loyalty means always having my leadership’s back. This means publically, of course. But it also means protecting them from others.
Romans 12:2-3 tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Humility is not something that just happens. It is a journey. It is something that happens by sitting at Jesus’ feet.
This is the most important thing you can do as a leader — spending time with God. Your devotional time determines your emotional time. How you respond in stress or when insulted stems from your relationship with God.
Remember, pride will hurt you more than any enemy ever could.
Saul was furious when he found out that David has been annointed to be the next king. But it was Jonathon who should have been really angry. Instead, Jonathon made a pact with David. He wanted them to stand in unity.
You have to align with your leader’s vision before you can develop your own.
The armor bearer in battle was to refresh, care for, and protect his officer, usually the king. David was Saul’s armor bearer. Jonathon was David’s armor bearer. Jonathon’s armor bearer had no name, but we read an account of them fighting the Philistines together (1 Samuel 14).
As an armor bearer, you strengthen the person you are serving. Craig recalls a time when he was faced with an overwhelming task. When he announced his God-given vision to the congregation, it seemed like no one was with him. He looked in the front row, and one person was literally cheering him on — his pastor.
As an armor bearer, you respect and submit to your officer. You protect their back. You fend off attacks. You keep watch when they are resting. You aid your officer in combat.
You work together. In unity.