In Ephesians 4:12,13, Paul told the church in Ephesus that the 5-fold ministry gifts were to ‘prepare God’s people’ so that they would ‘become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ Great, but how does a leader become mature?
There are many aspects to growing and maturing as a leader but there is one core tenant that is foundational to developing true, mature leadership. It is the process of walking through trials and troubles of life. Trials and perseverance are necessary, but inconvenient partners in growing into the maturity of Christ.
We mature and grow in leadership stability and stature as we persevere in faith and harness our emotions walking through the trials of life. Every trial, no matter how great or small, is a test of your perseverance. Every leader has a choice in the midst of a trial. He or she can ‘boing’! (which is a term I like to use to describe reacting like a coiled spring: emotionally reacting and responding in the flesh). Or, he or she can deny there is a trial, i.e. they walk in false faith--simply denying that the trial exists but calling it faith.
Or, the leader can walk through that trial fully knowing and understanding the possible negative outcomes. As he or she walks through it with that knowledge, he or she walks by faith and not by sight.
Leaders who walk in understanding persevere-- refusing to be in denial and refusing to ‘boing’ off into an emotional roller coaster. They may experience suffering in the process but it doesn’t throw them off track. These leaders grow in maturity and into the fullness of Christ. Romans 5:3 says we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.
The leader who perseveres will NOT be disappointed and becomes a man or woman of maturity!