Healthy Leaders - by Banning Liebscher
Leading worship or being part of a worship team is both an incredible honour and a profound responsibility. Any leadership role should never be taken lightly, but the privilege of leading people into the presence of God should stir within us a desire to be the healthiest leader we can be. Our job is to lead people to Jesus. Our sole purpose is to invite them into a place of encountering the greatness and goodness of God and in response to lift up their hearts in adoration and praise to the One who is worthy of it all.
As leaders, we reproduce who we are. The influence of dysfunctional leaders reproduces dysfunctional environments. The influence of healthy, thriving leaders reproduces healthy, thriving environments. Taking responsibility as a leader, no matter what position you have, means you come to terms with the fact that your life affects others. Perfection is not a requirement for leadership but growth is. Effective leaders have a hunger to grow. They want to become healthy spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. The call on your life is to lead people into a place of blessing, strength, and health. You are to lead people to a place where they are daily being formed into the image of Jesus.
I have a passion for leaders. Those who have embraced the call to influence the world around them for God are the people I want to hang out with. One of the greatest privileges I have is investing in leaders. The vision to see people’s lives transformed by the power and love of God lights me up. Leaders are part of this brilliant plan. Jesus chose those who have experienced His transforming grace to pour into others to see the same. I don’t just get excited about seeing leaders raised up but seeing healthy leaders raised up because they reproduce healthy environments.
As Christians, we are on a journey of growing daily in the Lord. Of seeing our lives become more and more like Jesus. It’s hard sometimes but it is our joy to obey the One who became broken so that we could be whole. This is why I am 100% committed to the local church. I believe one of the main mandates of the local church is to be a place where people can come and encounter God. The local church is a place where we gather with one another to worship and be transformed by the presence of God.
So how do we, as leaders, position ourselves to grow and become healthy? I have become convinced that healthy leaders, firmly rooted in Scripture, come from two places, the Presence of God and community. The church is a place where people gather to encounter the Presence of God and the family of God. As we gather corporately in worship and the Word, we encounter His Presence. And it’s His Presence that begins to transform our lives to look more like Jesus. He heals wounds, breaks shame, reveals His love, strips away selfishness, breaks lies we have believed, speaks identity, and a myriad of other things as we gather together in His Presence. It is in His Presence that my life finds meaning and fulfilment. Church is not the only place to encounter His Presence, but there is something unique and special that happens when His family gathers to worship and be equipped from the teaching of His Word. As we are with others who are pursuing God and who have a heart for Jesus, it ignites within us a greater love for Him and stirs us to continue to go deeper in our walk with God. In His Presence we find the power and love needed to be healthy leaders. To love, live, and lead as Jesus did. We must have a passion for His presence. It must be our top priority. There is nothing more important than that and a culture where we encounter the Presence of God daily is what we are after.
The other area healthy leaders come from is community. As we lead people in worship, it is a journey of community as well. Our mission must be to get people connected to the family of God in community. I would not fully be able to tackle the issue of community in one article, but throughout Scripture we are called to live in close relationship with others. It’s the family of God that is used to shape us, challenge us, disciple us, and call us to be like Jesus. God places us in a family and then uses that family to grow us in the most beautiful ways.
No matter what position you have, or what level of influence you carry, be a leader who is committed to growing and becoming healthy. Don’t just lead people into His presence but be a leader whose sole passion is to personally experience His presence. Allow God to shape you and mold you in community. It is there that He takes off the rough edges and makes them smooth. As you embrace a life of growth and health, you will reproduce around you an environment that invites people into the same pursuit, where we daily look upon the face of Jesus as we are being transformed.
Banning and SeaJay Liebscher are the Directors of Jesus Culture, a ministry mobilizing a generation of revivalists and reformers who will shape culture and transform nations. They are also the Senior Leaders of Jesus Culture Sacramento located in the capital of California.