Leading With the Right Metrics

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Leadership expects success and sometimes even demands it. Unfortunately, our self-worth and value can be wrapped up too much in success. Image is very pervasive in our culture to the misperception of your believing that our worth is based on how successful others view us. You must fight the temptation to draw your identity and worth from whether others see you as successful or unsuccessful. You are not worth more or less depending on how someone sees and views you if your identity rests securely in Jesus. Colossians 2:10 says, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

Make sure your metrics are measuring what really matters. Leaders can focus on bodies (the size of the congregation), bucks (the size of budget and offerings) and buildings (the size and beauty of their campus). None of these are wrong, in and of themselves, but they can be very misleading and do not measure what matters most — things like spiritual health, faithfulness, disciples not decisions, making disciples who make disciples, leadership reproduction, multiplication and obedience to the Great Commission. Remember, your worth is found in Jesus Christ and being complete in Him.

• First metric, are you thriving in Christ or are you just surviving the demands of ministry? If you have not read the article from the May 25 issue, Leading From the Overflow, you should. Your spiritual health is the first casualty in leading if you are not very careful. You begin to believe you cannot be delivered from worry, anxiety and stress, but that is denying the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. God would not tell us about joy and peace if it were only a pipe dream. Your ability to thrive in fellowship with other believers is founded in your thriving in daily fellowship with Christ.

In Rings of Fire, Leonard Sweet reminds us that “Whoever you allow to author your story is your authority. Let Jesus be your author and let the Holy Spirit be your editor.” Your journey can be difficult, and none of us have figured it all out nor do we have all the answers. Moving forward requires constantly being in His Word and crying out to Him for His direction. You can focus so much on what God wants to say to your church that you miss out on what He is saying to you. Surrendering your life to Him makes you pivot to focus on Him as “the author and finisher of your faith” (Heb. 12:2).

• The first correct metric is your personal soul care but the second is the care of your marriage and family. Refuse the temptation to sacrifice your family on the altar of ministry. There are areas of your life that only you can take care of, like your spiritual walk, relationship with your wife, relationship with your children and the care of your family. It will not always be easy, but wisdom tells us to put God first and family second. The family is under attack and the minister’s home is no exception. Know this, the temptation is inevitable and it will consistently keep knocking at your door. You are not immune to temptation.

Are soul care and family care the first two priorities of your daily life and walk with Christ? Here are some great questions to help you evaluate:

How is your prayer life?

Do you enjoy your quiet time and long to abide in Christ?

How is your marriage and does your wife realize how much you love her?

Are you having a date night on a regular basis?

Does your family have your undivided attention when you are home or are you always distracted?

Do you sit down together as a family to eat so you can share stories, concerns, burdens and victories?

What story is God authoring in your home and are you talking about that consistently?

• The third metric is faithfulness to God and His Word by standing for truth while speaking it in love. The greatest challenge, especially in today’s culture, is navigating today’s issues by showing compassion without compromising convictions and standing for convictions without compromising compassion. It is not easy, but it is possible because of the power of the Holy Spirit living within us. Anything less is actually a very poor excuse at best and a real lack of faith at worse. I John 4:4 reminds us that “…greater is He that is within us than he that is in the world.” You can live a victorious life because of this truth.

In The Stressless Life, Vance Pitman reminds us of Jesus visiting two sisters, Mary and Martha. Unfortunately, Martha catches far too much criticism without careful examination of our own hearts. Martha, I am sure, wanted to spend time with Jesus if she had time. Pitman states, “Sadly, I’m afraid that’s the way many of us approach our schedules as followers of Christ. We say, ‘Jesus, you’re welcome to stop by — as long as I have time.’” The difference in Mary was that Jesus’ presence was her plan. Henry Blackaby reminds us, “A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in your life.”

King David said, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple” (Psa. 27:4). Maybe we should look a little deeper into these statements in the Word of God: To dwell in the house of the Lord; to abide in Christ; and husbands being told to live with their wives. Make sure that Jesus is the author of your story and that the Holy Spirit is the editor!