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In this post I’d love to consider the heart of a leader.

Someone asked me recently what I primarily look for in the hiring of a staff position. I said, without reservation, first and foremost, I look for the heart. I want a heart which honors Christ more than self, one which desires to grow and learn, and one which is willing to sacrifice personal privilege for the benevolent purpose of others.

The heart of a leader is more important than any other characteristic.

Consider, for example, the life of a Bible character by the name of Joseph. Joseph’s story runs from Genesis 37-50. It’s an amazing story of God’s sovereignty and grace. Joseph is a standard bearer for character in the Old Testament. Some say he’s in many ways an Old Testament example of Christ – not sinless, as Christ was, but certainly a God-fearing man.

The part of Joseph’s story I want to point out has to do with what identified him with the heart of leader. I submit his heart is representative of the kind of heart all leaders should seek to have.

Here are 5 qualities to seek in the heart of a leader:

Imagination

Joseph was a dreamer. It caused him some problems, but he was able to see what others couldn’t see. He saw the big picture. Of course, this came from God, but I believe God has equipped all of us with the ability to dream. It may not be prophetic in nature, but we can seek and find the big picture if we are looking for it.

Integrity

When tempted by Potiphar’s wife and when an opportunity for revenge against his brothers presented itself, Joseph resisted temptation. The leader’s heart must continually seek what is right and good. People are watching and even the perception of evil can ruin a good leader. The heart of a leader must be above reproach.

Investment

Joseph helped the men in prison, he helped the Pharaoh and he even helped his brothers who had hurt him most. Joseph obviously believed the principle that helping others helps yourself. The heart of a leader must be willing to sacrifice his or her own agenda for the agenda of others.

Intentionality

Joseph was diligent during the famine, during the days of prison, even when he had the opportunity to get even with his brothers, but didn’t. Joseph was confident God had a plan for his life, so he refused to be distracted by things of lesser value.

Innovation

Joseph devised an ingenious plan to save the nations from desolation. Using godly wisdom, Joseph conserved the resources he had to accommodate the days of plenty and the days of few.

The hope of this post is you would reflect on your own leadership – consider your own heart as a leader.

What could you learn from the heart of Joseph?

 

 

Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been in full-time ministry for over eight years.  

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E L Zacharias

commented on Oct 10, 2016

Ron, I think the opening discussion was very much on point: A good Christian leader will be humble and faithful, which means he will be a servant who listens to God and appeals to God even as he strives to be a good steward of all that God has given. He learns and grows and uses all the skills he has at his disposal for the benefit of others. He becomes the leader, simply because others fail to learn, grow, and care for others. You broach a good topic of discussion, but distract me as you try to fit the concepts into words beginning with the letter I. Taking that track, Joseph could also be Inspired: moved by God; Indentured: a servant of man; Inquiring: why, why, why; Invincible: unbroken; Identity: a servant of God. The bottom line is that God is the great I Am who brings salvation to our battered lives and fits us to bring salvation and goodness into the lives of others. The title might be, I AM, I CRIED.

E L Zacharias

commented on Oct 10, 2016

In other words, I think what turned me off is that the discussion was too much I-centered and not IAM-centered. Humble little me will be a super servant of God if I have Imagination, Integrity, Investment, Intentionality, Innovation. The good news is that we are not the saviors of our time. That is what makes Joseph a figure that points us to Christ. The same God who saved Joseph is the one who saves us through Christ Jesus.

Ishmael Ansah

commented on Oct 10, 2016

Very well on pint, very much impress and liked this topic as it put us on track of what is expected from us a leaders and the will of God for our life. God bless you Ron.

Marceline Tinshu

commented on Oct 11, 2016

Wow! so timely. i was thinking of what to teach in the leadership meeting today, then i found this article in my inbox.

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