I have been studying all day for a leadership seminar that I am teaching in a few weeks. In doing so, I have reflected much on the difficulties of leading in such challenging days. It seems leaders are attacked from one side or the other no matter what they do. Those who try to lead from the middle get shot from both sides. Those who try to lead by “polls” are simply trying to lead according to popular opinion, which is not really leading…but simply going with the flow where ever it leads.
How then are true leaders to lead? The word which kept coming to mind was “integrity”. Leaders are to lead with integrity. They are to lead openly and honestly to the best of their ability. As leaders in the body of Christ we must by all means lead with integrity. The Word and the Spirit of God must give us what we need most…direction. Then we must lead in the direction at all cost. I find no where in the NT where the sheep lead the shepherd, the shepherd is always out front blazing the trail for the sheep. It’s a tremendous responsibility. We lead in constant holy fear and trembling before God, not man. The sheep must recognize the integrity of the shepherd. They must trust him. They must have faith in the integrity of his heart. The sheep must be able to see the under-shepherd following the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the only source of true integrity. We trust in Him, not the man.
Pastor, this does not insure your integrity will not be attacked. It will be. You are no better than the Lord Jesus and His integrity was attacked at virtually every turn. He was accused of working in accordance with the power of darkness, rather than against it. He was eventually determined to be a false prophet and crucified between two men of no integrity. He led anyway. So must you.
In many ways, integrity is in the eye of the beholder in our day and time. We all tend to look through our own set of colored glasses. People tend to see things as they want to, not as they are at times. They judge or misjudge actions and motives if it does not fit their agenda. Move in the integrity of your heart anyway.
You see, I have come to learn integrity before God and God alone is what counts. Only God really knows the reasoning and motives of your thoughts, words, and actions. That does not mean you are always right, but at least you are making decisions and leading with the purest motives and best information you have at the moment. This is genuine integrity. God will always honor that, even making wrongs right because you walked in integrity to the best of your ability at the time.