The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
To command the respect of outsiders, a good leader must not depend on anyone. A minister must work hard in order to avoid begging in all its forms. The alternative to depending on others is to mind your own business and work with your own hands.
How To Demonstrate That You Are Capable of Independence
- If a leader is as wise as a serpent he will be a master of his own life and will not need anyone to build things for him.
Your wisdom will lead you to rise up and build for yourself. This is why a man is said to be wise when he has built things. The inability to build reveals the lack of wisdom. If you are wise as a serpent you will rise up and build the things you need. Solomon built many things himself. He built houses, planted vineyards, made gardens and orchards and planted trees of all kinds of fruits and made pools.
I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards:
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
A pastor who runs a church expecting someone to come along and build a building for him is incapable of mature, non-dependent leadership. Until you learn to look at the few resources you have and plan your existence around what you own, you are incapable of mature independent living.
- If a leader is as wise as a serpent he will live his life not expecting money, gifts, grants, donations or even loans. He will neither ask for gifts and loans nor continually beg for assistance.
A good leader must not ask for gifts or beg for money. When you are as wise as a serpent you know that you are on your own from day one. Every serpent knows this! You must rise up and meet the challenges, knowing that others have encountered the exact challenges and were able to overcome.
And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoe latchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, LEST THOU SHOULDEST SAY, I HAVE MADE ABRAM RICH:
Abraham did not need anybody to make him rich. In fact, he did not want anybody to think that they had made him rich.
People who do not know the history of America think that America became rich by osmosis or some supernatural miracle. The plain hard work of building roads, cities and railways is often lost on the ignorant masses. America was built with sweat and manual labour.
There is a canal in the United States of America that was built in 1825. It was built without engineers and dug out manually by about five thousand workers. This 580-kilometer canal stretched from New York City (from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo on Lake Erie) to the middle of America. The canal provided amazingly cheap transportation from the middle of America to the coast. New York City boomed and by 1840 there were many millionaires in that city. This wealth did not come to America by receiving gifts and handouts from outside. It came by the hard work of people who did not look for help from outside.
- If a leader is as wise as a serpent, he will learn to encourage himself.
A leader must not depend on outsiders to encourage him. A person who is capable of living independently will learn to encourage himself because it is wisdom to live without expecting to be encouraged and comforted by another. David encouraged himself in the Lord.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: BUT DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD.
1 Samuel 30:3-6
Dear Leader, remember what the Bible says:
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and SO THAT YOU WILL NOT BE DEPENDENT ON ANYBODY.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NIV)