Don’t Come Thirsty: Looking for the Wrong Things in Leadership

Leadership is a privilege, never a right. The ability to serve and influence people to accomplish great things is a unique blessing of God. The desire to lead, as dangerous as it can be, is a good, God-given desire. Jesus (Matthew 20:26) and the Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 3:1) responded to the desire to lead in their disciples with caution but never condemnation. Problems arise however when a leader begins to expect more from leadership than it is designed to give. When leaders begin to expect promotion or positions to fill the deepest longings of their soul they have set themselves up for an inevitable fall.

In his excellent book, The Unhurried Leader, Alan Fadling cautions leaders of approaching leadership “thirsty”.

“Rather than bringing my thirst to my leadership roles and activities, rather than seeking something there to quench those thirsts, I can bring my thirst to Jesus and find in him a river of living water. And in addition to satisfying my desperate thirsts, that living water can flow through me to bring the life, refreshment, and encouragement that people need in those places where I serve as a leader. Rather than bringing my thirst for affirmation or recognition to my leadership roles and relationships of influence, seeking some positive response from those I lead, I bring this thirst to Jesus. I hear from him the same words he heard from His Father, “You are my beloved son. I’m so pleased with you.” From this place of knowing the Father’s deep affection, I can bring an abundance of affirmation to those I serve rather than seeking affirmation from them. ” – Alan Fadling

Ultimately, leadership can never quench your deepest thirst. Only Jesus can do that.

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