Learning, leading, and living out your calling

Recently I was invited to speak at a luncheon for one of our associations in Texas. I always really enjoy doing this. It allows me to spend time with the leaders of our associations. It also allows me to be with pastors from across Texas, hear their stories, and celebrate what God is doing in them and through them. 

On this particular day, the format that was requested for me was called the “3/2/1.” I was asked to give three leadership lessons I have learned, two people who had profoundly impacted my life, and one leadership decision I would do differently. Thinking through this format was helpful and insightful. 

I admit, I am not as seasoned in life and ministry as many of the people I serve. However, over the last 20-plus years, God has, in fact, taught me much about leadership. In this article, I want to list 10 leadership lessons that are among the best I have learned. Many of these I have heard from others and found them to be true for me, too. 

Over the coming months, I will unpack some of what God has taught me about leadership. For now, here is the list: 

  1. Broken leaders are the best leaders.
  2. Love people and they will let you lead them. 
  3. Don’t internalize criticism from someone you wouldn’t seek advice from.
  4. Never let your planning take priority over your praying.
  5. Stand firm on your convictions, regardless of the consequences.  
  6. Success makes you a more confident leader, failure makes you a more cautious leader, but humility makes you a better leader.
  7. Surround yourself with people who will teach, encourage, challenge, and sharpen you as you continue to grow as a leader.
  8. Never be too busy to pour your life into others. 
  9. Don’t place your identity and value on what others perceive as success. Find your identity and value in what pleases the Lord.
  10. Be focused, passionate, and resolved to lead forward. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.  

As you can see, this is not an exhaustive list. In fact, I am sure the greatest lessons I will learn about leadership have yet to be revealed. While this list certainly flows out of the leadership lessons I have learned in ministry, each of these is applicable in all areas of life. Whatever your calling may be, you can take these principles, apply them to your unique context, and become a better leader one day and one step at a time. What is your list?

I love you, I believe in you, and I am honored to serve you! 

Executive Director
Nathan Lorick
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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