Healthy Leaders


7 Essential Questions for Leadership Focus

Ralph MayhewRalph Mayhew

When writing to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul offered them encouragement to journey forward in faith. His guidance came in four forms: Walk by the Spirit (5:16), be led by the Spirit (5:18), keep in step with the Spirit (5:25), live by the Spirit (5:25).

This rich wisdom must shape our leadership as we continue in our roles and responsibilities. The following seven questions will help you set yourself on a path to which the Spirit can both hold you to and accompany you on. As you ponder these questions, do so with your spirit open and obedient to God’s.

1. What is God calling you to stop?

Are you in a position where you can let go of something? Maybe today is a great opportunity to reset your ministry engagement calendar and ask this important question: What dead horses are you still riding that you need to dismount?

Sometimes this means ceasing a habit, a dead program, a destructive behavior, or a tired ministry. Sometimes God asks us to stop something that is good but is no longer serving God’s vision, distracting you or others or holding you back from investing energy or resources elsewhere.

2. What is God calling you to start?

Within the rhythm of your organization or ministry, is there an opportunity to start something new? Maybe it is a new initiative, habit, or ministry. In doing so, you can increase your energy, bring focus to your work and have an easy to remember time marker against which to evaluate your fruitfulness.

Starting something can often fill you with enthusiasm, passion and excitement. Don’t fall into the trap of starting something new because you’re feeling lethargic, bored or depressed. You’ll only add to your load and burn out sooner. Only start what furthers your vision, reinforces your culture and complements your values.

3. How is God asking you to slow down?

The demands of leadership are always increasing if you are leading effectively. The more you have, the more you need to do, the faster you feel you are moving. A fast pace cannot be sustained, and if consistent, will take from you more than you realize until it’s gone. 

Slowing down often leads us to look inwardly. Why do we crave the adrenaline? What is my pace taking from my family and me? What’s the benefit of slowing my life down?

4. How is God asking you to increase your intentionality?

Intentionality is doing specific things with focused purpose. When too many things occupy our agendas, it becomes very difficult to remain intentional.

Take some time to evaluate all you are doing. Ask yourself if everything required or expected of you is actually necessary. From what remains, measure if your current engagement in those things is as intentional as it should be. It’s easy to drift out of intentionality and not realize it’s happened.

5. What are you going to do about making disciples?

Jesus’ final words in Matthew issued us with a charge to go and make disciples. It is the central calling of Christian ministry. What is your plan and strategy to make disciples?

It doesn’t happen by accident, but it can happen if you are prepared to make it happen. Thinking through how you will be strategic will serve you and those you lead well as the year unfolds.

6. How will you inspire others in their biblical leadership?

Making disciples doesn’t happen by accident. Take some time to think and pray through who you can invest in and what that investment will look like. 

A key part of being able to lead others well is leading yourself well. Part of your answer to this question should involve how you intend to lead yourself better.

7. How will you guard yourself against sin?

Every leader is as susceptible to sin as those we lead. The difference is when a leader is conquered by sin, those they lead are deeply affected too. The three big categories to be on your guard against are Money, Sex and Power.

Guarding yourself against sin needn’t be a difficult process. It might be as simple as confessing your sin to a friend and having them hold you accountable. Maybe limit your exposure to a particular environment or influence.

If you take the time to answer these questions seriously and deeply, the quality of your ministry and leadership will only increase.

This article originally appeared here.

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