The Bible assumes believers will be striving to follow God, continually living in an ongoing state of evaluation, repentance and growth.
While I'm not suggesting Christian leaders need to ask all of these questions below every day, I do think we need to ask them at least monthly:
1. Are the people serving around me more godly or less godly because of their time with me? The answer should be, "More," but sometimes it's, "It depends on who it is" because we let our guard down around "safe" people. That's a problem.
2. If the people I lead believe I truly walk with God, is their belief accurate? Only you can answer that question. Even leaders fall into hypocrisy at times.
3. Have I shared the gospel with anyone this month? If not, you'll find it tough to challenge your church members to do evangelism.
4. Am I doing anything—and challenging my people to do anything—that I/we could not do in our own strength? One way to evaluate this question is to assess how much time you spend on your knees. Leaders who pray only perfunctory, surface-level prayers aren't likely tackling any God-sized challenges.
5. What one area of my life would I not want my followers to know about? I hope that all of us can think of no such area, but I doubt that's the case. Be honest with yourself in your assessment—and then repent as needed.
6. What specific steps am I taking to improve as a leader? If you can't name particular, intentional steps you're taking to be a stronger leader, it's possible you're plateaued (or even arrogant if you're assuming you've reached the pinnacle).
7. Into whose life am I pouring myself? If you're not raising up another generation of leaders by mentoring someone, you're not fully following in the footsteps of Jesus and Paul.
8. Would my family say I'm the same person at home as I am in public? I've learned from the Scriptures and by experience that our hearts are deceitful. Sometimes, we need those who know us best to evaluate us.
9. Do I need to forgive someone or seek someone's forgiveness? An unwillingness to seek or grant forgiveness as needed only weakens our ministries. Bitterness is a tool of the enemy.
10. If my role didn't require it, would I still strive to read the Word regularly? Of course, I'm assuming here that we're reading the Word at all. If, on the other hand, we read it only to get our job done, we've missed the point.
11. Do I really love the people of God, or do I just say I do? When ministry leaves us scarred, we often try to lead people for whom we've lost our love. That kind of leadership doesn't last long.
12. What are my leadership goals for the next three months? Six months? The next year? Having no goals equates to stagnation. Having unstated goals results in no accountability. Either one is a problem.
Schedule time to ask three of these questions each week, and complete all of them over a month. What other questions would you add to this list?
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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