In their classic book on leadership, The Leadership Challenge, James Kouzes and Barry Posner share the findings of one of the most comprehensive research studies ever done on leadership. That study shows that the most effective leaders do 5 things consistently well. Those five practices can also apply to Christ-followers who sincerely want to share their faith in word and deed.
So, here’s 5 commitments every Christian should make in 2023…
Model the Way by clarifying values and, by example, teaching others to model those values.
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good…” (Titus 2:7).
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Inspire a Shared Vision by helping people find a common purpose and appealing to common ideals.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common” (Acts 2:44).
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
Challenge the Process by searching for opportunities to share the love and message of Christ and taking risks for God’s Kingdom purposes.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5).
Enable Others to Act by fostering collaboration and strengthening others.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…” (Hebrews 10:24).
Encourage the Heart by recognizing others’ contributions and celebrating others’ victories.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice…” (Romans 12:15).
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
By carrying out these five commitments, you will become an encourager of others who increases the joy of others as well as your own, and you will be a catalyst for the Kingdom who helps the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven.