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Integrity In Leadership

By July 23, 2016August 14th, 2023No Comments
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
Acts 2:42-44

When you read those verses in Acts, the text tells us that “they gathered
together to pray…” When I read that, the question I ask myself is, “Who
motivated them to do that?”
Obviously, the Sunday School answer would be: GOD.
But who in the flesh led them? Peter and John.
These two men had been commanded not to speak about Jesus, and yet
miracles kept happening so they were released. They returned to the people and
continued to lead the way despite adversity, their lives being threatened, and
more. Talk about leadership!
it to say, there’s no way to cover all there is to say about Leadership here.
There are plenty of great books on Leadership. (see the addendum for a
suggested list.)
The main point I want to make is that Leadership is one of the SHIPS every
church has to have in its fleet. Think about your church. Who’s leading? Is
there even a leader? Is there a group of people trying to usurp the power of
God’s leader?

In a lot of churches I have had the privilege to be in the last fifteen years, leadership was missing. Sometimes leadership was missing because the
person in the position of leadership lacked character. General Swartzcoff said,
“Leadership is to a great extent character.” Character is who you are not what
you do. If you watch a lot of people who are in leadership positions, they may
be able to accomplish a lot, but who they are is lacking in some area. Why in
the church we prefer competencies over character sometimes is a mystery to me.
Competencies are very important. We need to be qualified and have certain skill
sets to accomplish goals related to a certain job. But character is important
when It comes to leadership. In fact, it’s a trait we cannot do without. When I
begin to think about traits of leadership, I think about three individuals who
impacted my life early on. In their lives, we will see some of the other traits
that are important to leadership.

When I think of leadership and what it
takes to be a part of equipping people to be all they can be in Christ, several
people to come to mind that have, in my opinion, exemplified true leadership.
In fact, early on, these key people were instrumental in forming my vision of
what leaders do, how they act, and why they minister. It was to these
individuals that I can attribute many of my core convictions and habits when it
comes to ministry and leading people.
Before I tell you about those
individuals, let me share the four major components of leadership I learned from
them. Although by no means an exhaustive list, each of these leaders displayed
four components necessary for great leadership.  These are Integrity, servant hood, wisdom, and passion.
Someone once said that integrity is who you are when no one
else is watching. Webster’s says that integrity is “
The quality of being honest and having strong moral
principles; moral uprightness.” That’s a good start at a definition. Integrity,
Webster’s goes on to say, is not being “undivided.”
When I think of that, I think of the question, “Am I
sharing my heart with another person or thing?” Christian Recording Artist John
Waller writes in his song “As for Me and My House” a line that states, “We will
not give our hearts to another; We belong to the Lord”. I think this also helps
us understand Integrity.

Integrity is making sure God has 100% ownership of your heart at
all times; It’s making sure there are no other gods on the throne of our heart
and that we are singularly focused on Him.

I don’t remember how old I was. I was probably 7 or 8 years old and my mom and
I were coming out of a store called K-Mart. My mom was fiddling with her keys
and the bag of stuff she purchased, but in the other hand she was shaking the
change. She had a puzzled look on her face. We arrived at the car and I was
hungry and ready to go grab lunch through my favorite drive-thru. She looked at
me and said, “Jack, I have to go back in.”
     “Why?”, I
My mom began to explain that the lady at the register had given her too much
money back. I can’t remember how much, but I don’t even think it was more than
a dollar. I told my mom to forget it and come on because I was hungry.
    “No, son, we have to
go back in. She may get in trouble if her register comes up short and it’s the
right thing to do.”
      I didn’t
think too much of it at that moment, but as we pulled away from the K-mart and
headed to the fast food restaurant, I knew my burger was going to taste better.
My mom had done the right thing and I knew it was the right thing. At that
moment, my mom had demonstrated integrity. It wasn’t convenient to go back in
the store and go back to the register, wait in line, and sort it all out, but-
and don’t miss this- it was the God-honoring thing to do.  If we only do what is right and
God-honoring when it is convenient or doesn’t cost us anything, we will fall
short of real integrity.

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