honorably living out a call to ministry

01.28.2016

Bryant Penzo-CCSM 2015Guest writing today on the Cross Church School of Ministry blog is Bryant Penzo. Bryant is serving with the Cross Church School of Ministry as a resident minister on the College Ministry track. Bryant joins the CCSM from Fayetteville, Arkansas.

In all too recent days, on most subjects (even many that I know very little about) I was my own biggest fan. I would have argued with you until I had complete defeat, and I realized my arguing was actually revealing my ignorance. If there were an opportunity for input, I would have found a way to be heard. I thought by being bold and being heard one could achieve effective leadership. Ironically, the Lord has surrounded me with leaders that have greater knowledge and more wisdom than myself, yet they didn’t get to where they are by making sure they were heard.

These men lead their families well, reside in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and honorably live out their call to ministry. Even more so, I am drawn to them as they exhibit these qualities in complete humility. It was this very humility that allowed them to become such great men and equally great leaders. In their lack of pride they were able to receive constructive criticism and ultimately be pupils of life.

The Lord used these men to help me realize: I don’t know how to swallow my pride, shut my mouth, or listen. I never expected to find teach-ability as a foundational quality in a leader. I always assumed diligent leaders spent time getting to where they are by determination. I was wrong. What I’ve learned is that leaders are consistently seeking wisdom, and looking for new ways to improve their leadership ability. I’ve learned that leaders are humble and they listen. True leaders are teach-able.

More specifically, these are the things I’ve seen in these leaders:

–       They submit to the will of God. They humble themselves before the Father by handing over their life to Him, because they understand what it means to be dependent.

–       They know how to celebrate others’ successes, despite their own failures. They are willing to add value to others, not only to themselves.

–       They admit they can’t do it on their own, and they seek other’s advice. They aren’t afraid to admit they don’t know everything.

People correcting and improving upon my work or thoughts used to frustrate me and it caused me to feel inferior. I did not see the good in a person lovingly correct my words or actions. They were doing me a favor. They loved me enough to amend what I thought to be flawless leadership. I’m learning to be a learner, and to have a teachable spirit. These are the very things I thought poor leaders had. I perceived it as weak, uncertain, and insecure. However, these lessons are the ones I need to learn in order to expand my leadership qualities and move forward to becoming a truly effective leader for the sake of Jesus Christ.

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