A temptation for leaders is to run ahead, make tracks, and accomplish vision. While leaders should lead, the best way to do so is by following the True Alpha Leader.
My husband and I are dog lovers, we both have strong personalities, and we somehow always manage to pick the Alpha of the litter. Our efforts to teach our first dog, a yellow lab, the meaning of the word heel were interpreted by her as: “I will leave the two of you way behind my heels!”
Our second dog, a standard poodle, was even smarter at redefining the word heel. To her it meant, “I am the queen of the world and I will say how fast and how far ahead of you guys I will run!” And run she did. Like the wind. It was exhilarating to watch her. Except when she ran off the edge of a cliff (literally), or leaped over a flower garden and landed on a lawnmower, or raced after a waddling black critter on the trail ahead of us who had a white stripe on its back. Yes it was a skunk and yes she got sprayed.
I can be a lot like our dogs. I run ahead in my mind. I picture the future. I plan out scenarios. But you know, in 30 years my solo ponderings have seldom produced what I envisioned.
1. Do you run ahead in your mind, most often apart from discerning prayer?
2. As you picture the future, do you find yourself worrying?
3. Do you go at a fast clip, often hurried and harried?
4. Do you pray on the fly, giving shout-outs to God and occasional cries for help?
5. Are your efforts rooted in self, instead of being birthed by God and for His glory?
If you responded with three or more yeses, you may have a few Alpha leader tendencies.
But there’s only one True Alpha Leader. His name is Jesus Christ. He says of Himself in Revelation 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega… the Beginning and the End.” He’s the beginning of all vision in your ministry, the sustainer of forward motion, and His glory is the end goal.
1. Pray first. Early on in the visioning process, pray extensively. As good as your vision may seem, God’s version of it will be best.
2. Wait. Have a listening, waiting posture as you align yourself with your Leader. Keep your eyes and ears open to Him.
3. Obey. Once you’ve heard from God through prayer and the Word, follow His leading as you enact His strategy.
4. Pray continuously. You could think of this like “heeling” – staying right beside God and looking up to Him for further direction and clarification as you proceed.
5. Give God glory. Jesus lived and died for His Father’s glory. As your mission is accomplished and lives are impacted, intentionally give honor to the True Leader.
As leaders, we see the future, we see the potential, and we’re off and running. But while running ahead of God seems faster, following God is fruitful.
“Running ahead of God seems faster, but following God is fruitful.”- Lisa Hosler
What steps have you taken to follow God’s lead and keep pace with Him? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.