Some of the great breakthroughs in life for me have come, not because circumstances changed, or people around me changed, but rather because I changed. I started to see people and circumstances differently. I had new insight and in the process I was developing an intuitiveness that gave me a new cutting edge to the way I would approach the calling that had been entrusted to me.
I began to believe that God had a unique plan for my life, and that like Jesus, I only needed to do what I saw the Father doing (John 5:19). Gradually life became more of an adventure and I was being set free from the limitations I had grown to accept in the way I saw things and the way I thought about things.
I started to read books and attend conferences with the goal of finding principles that would help me unlock God’s great purposes for my life rather than learning how to copy what God had shown someone else. And through the eyes of faith I saw opportunities and challenges I hadn’t seen before and I was attracting people I hadn’t met before.
John Maxwell said, “Leadership intuition is often the factor that separates the greatest leaders from the merely good ones……The best way to describe this bias is an ability to get a handle on intangible factors, understand them and work with them to understand leadership goals…….Intuitive leaders can sense what is happening among people and almost instantly know their hopes, fears and concerns…..”
And in the process my confidence grew as I has an assurance that the Father was at work, my faith was strengthened as I knew that He would pay for what He ordered and that He was using the experiences of life to grow me as a spiritual leader. In this second part of this paper INSIGHT…… that separates leaders from followers, I want to identify the way leaders with insight see people and see their ministry.
3.) PEOPLE INSIGHTS
a.) EMERGING LEADERS
“When (Saul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was really a disciple. But Barnabas took him to the apostles.” (Acts 9:26-27) Without Barnabas we might never had heard of Paul. Unlike anyone else, Barnabas had the insight to see the potential in Paul, even though it would take time to develop.
b.) FAITH IN PEOPLE’S HEARTS
‘Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.’ (Acts 14:9-10) Leaders realise that people with faith in God, open doors for the power of God to be at work in them.
c.) LEVELS OF TEACHABILITY IN PEOPLE
“Do not give to dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6) Leaders know that there are times to speak out and there are times to refrain from speaking out according to the receptivity and teachability of people’s hearts.
d.) DEEP NEEDS IN PEOPLE
‘Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”’ (John 4:13-14)
Leaders see beyond the felt needs of people to the deeper needs that lay within their hearts, and they use the felt needs as a springboard to identify the deeper needs.
e.) CHEMISTRY BETWEEN PEOPLE
It was an important lesson for me to realise that a ministry team of people needed more than appropriate levels of competence and character to be able to effectively work together. They also needed chemistry, which included a sharing of values, a mature level of emotional intelligence, an understanding of different personalities and agreeing on the game plan (or discipleship pathway). At times I needed to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t helpful for certain people to work together and maybe it was appropriate for Paul and Barnabas to part company after their first missionary journey (Acts 15:36-41)
4. MINISTRY INSIGHTS
a.) OPEN DOORS (AND CLOSED DOORS)
‘Do you not say, “Four months and then the harvest?” I tell you, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”’ (John 4:35) Leaders see opportunities (sometimes in moments of crisis) that must be seized without delay.
b.) CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS
Leaders never become a slave to their surroundings. They have a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo. They keep picturing what the next level will look like. They never preach the same sermon just like they did last time. Leaders never arrive, they are always on a journey.
Leaders know that they not only need to make the right decision, but they need to make it at the right time. Leaders that procrastinate or on the other hand are impulsive, can lose the cause even if they make the right decision.
d.) THE BOTTOM LINE
Leaders evaluate everything in regard to the ultimate goal and planned outcome. They have the ability to see through a maze of detail and information and stay focused on the bottom line.
Leaders have the ability to lead and make decisions based on such invisibles as MOMENTUM, ATMOSPHERE, and MORALE. This is where the leadership gift has an intuitive quality that grows with experience and with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
‘Moses father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you, you cannot handle it alone.”’ (Exodus 18:17-18) Leaders realise that with the passing of time and consequent growth in their ministry, both circumstances and strategies must change. Strategies are a leader’s servant and not their master. Through Jethro’s insight he saw something that Moses didn’t see and saved Moses from a disastrous situation.
John Maxwell identified the following 3 levels of leadership:
1. Those who NATURALLY see it
2. Those who are NURTURED to see it
3. Those who will NEVER see it.
In leadership, there is so much more to take in than just what the eye can see. Consequently, leaders need to:
1. Grow in intimacy with the Father and a sensitivity to what He is doing and saying.
2. Find mentors who can model and instruct them in developing this quality of insight.
3. Develop the gift of leadership and in the process nurture the quality of insight.