By: Bryan Sampson
If you are not careful you can go through life and never ask yourself the pertinent questions that can change the entire philosophy and scope of your life for the better. Some important questions you should ask as a leader in Teen Challenge are what kind of leader do you want to be and what kind of leader do you want to be remembered as? With so many leadership philosophies and ideologies, it can seem overwhelming to choose what is going to make you succeed as a leader. So, what is going to make the difference in your leadership style and the legacy you leave behind? Character.
Your character is everything. It is what people are going to associate with your name and will determine your legacy. So, what is character? Stanley (2003) defines it as “the will to do what’s right even when it’s hard” (p.133). Having the kind of character that glorifies God and will make you a leader worth following will require a willingness to make the right decisions. Decisions that are tough, that may run contrary to emotion, intuition, economics, current trends and in the eyes of some, common sense. To have this kind of character you have to believe and follow an absolute standard of right and wrong which is independent of your emotions, experiences, or desires. It will be your willingness to say “no” that will set you a part from the pack and make you a leader worth following.
Don’t become intoxicated with the world desires of power, money, success, fame…. As Stanley (2003) points out “intoxicated people see the world differently” (p.138). They see rules for the common man but not themselves. Leading with character is not doing the right thing to avoid consequences, but because it is the right thing to do. “Virtue is not a means to an end. It is the end” (Stanley, 2003, p. 138). We must recognize and submit to joyfully following the moral law which has been revealed by God through His word and in our hearts. We must always walk in humility and never come to believe that our position, success, or situation can give us the right to replace what God has put in place.
I challenge you today to analyze yourself and have God search your heart to reveal what kind of character you are demonstrating and leading with. Pray for God to reveal His truth and have it become the standard that you choose to live by so that you can develop the Godly character to bring Him glory so that others may follow.
Stanley, A. (2003). The next generation leader: Five essential for those who will shape the future. New York: Multnomah.