Summary: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house......” (Matthew 5:14-15)
The Leader as Change Agent:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Charles R. Swindoll said “We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Leadership at its core is a moral vocation and leaders are change agents. Scratch a good leader and you will find a refine attitude, moral purpose, vision, passion, and persistence. The process of change isn’t easy. I don’t think everything has to change. Some things never should. But, change, even the hardest kind of change, has to occur if progress towards worthy visions is going to continue to occur. If you want to be a change agent leader: You have to be willing to die in your selfishness - Are you prepared for that? You need to be able to withstand criticism – Change invites pushback. Change changes things. So you must evaluate and be willing to sacrifice accordingly - You can’t be a change agent and equally be a control freak. You must think bigger than today – Change is always going somewhere new. You’ve got to think beyond now and even beyond the most immediate future. You have to look for what others can’t see, choose not to or are afraid to see (or admit).You have to challenge status quo - You have to go against the way things are being done and the way things have always been done.
Biblical examples of change agents include David, Daniel, Esther, and Moses, while modern-day change agents that inspired a shift in society include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa. “We need to start solving problems in our culture as Jesus said to His disciples.”You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14) You cannot make yourself the light of the world. Jesus says you are the light of the world because of your relationship with him. “The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ). God speaks the light of Jesus into our hearts, and his light shines so powerfully through us that we are like stars in the universe that point the whole human race toward real life (Philippians 2:15-16). This is a portrait of leadership. Jesus, who is the light of the world, re-creates us into the light of the world. We are light, not because of anything in ourselves, but because we are in a supernatural union with the light of the world. He calls us to follow after him, and he says, “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness” (John 8:12) when the Gospel of the kingdom comes into a life and community, everything in its wake is impacted.”
So we should change the way we think about leadership. The question is often asked: “Are leaders born or made? In fact all people are born… leadership is not determined by heritage, lineage or their political connections. Although most of do not think of ourselves as leaders, we are. If leadership is influence, and I believe it is, then we all display leadership characteristics as we influence and impact others. Leadership is not about a position or a title; privileges or entitlements. Leadership is everybody’s business. We all possess the capacity for leadership, but only those who cultivate it will ever become truly effective leaders.
Two of the persistent questions we repeatedly ask are: "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" God addresses both of those early in the scriptures. In Genesis 1:26 we read, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule. Being made in God's image and likeness means that we possess characteristics that are also found in God, It is similar to the way children often reflect the characteristics, mannerisms and appearance of their parents. There are several dimensions to this "image of God" in us. There is an intellectual dimension. Only human beings can reason and think, analyze and meditate. There is a spiritual dimension. We were created as people with a soul and spirit and there is a moral dimension originally given to us. Lloyd-Jones said “Man was made intellectually and morally in such a way that there was a kind of integrity about him, nothing false, nothing imperfect, nothing wrong. There was a straightness, and uprightness. There was a truth. His nature was one; it was balanced; it was exactly what it was meant to be: moral and intellectual integrity, expressing themselves in "righteousness and true holiness.' (Eph. 4:24)