I found myself in recent days returning to the Epilogue of my book, Leading Decisively! Leading Faithfully! Reflections and Markers. Actually, I read it rather often, as a prayer. The words in the “Epilogue” characterize me at my best and convict me at my worst.
What legacy do I want to leave behind? How do I want to be remembered? What will be said of you or me as we come to the end of our journey? What do we want to hear from our Master when life on earth is over?
I welcome your comments on these brief reflections written as I concluded the book. Please share with me your “Epilogue” statement!
We can serve as decisive leaders with integrity and grace as our testimony of holiness of heart and life continually transforms the way we live in and lead a faith community.
The people we serve should witness in us a transformed and transformative spirit reflected in the occasions of our disagreements, and in the ways we plan and process important issues. The way we preach on Sunday, live in the home, work in the community, and lead a board meeting on Tuesday evening should give evidence to an increasing “conformity to the mind of Christ” (II Cor. 3:18). Those whom we lead should see no separation between the sacred and secular in our lives. No great divide between the message we preach and the way we lead. No inconsistency. No manipulation. No disrespect. No abuse. No significant gap between our words and our deeds.
We now begin to see more clearly the means by which we “maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). We are learning, little by little, what it means to “imitate God…and live a life of love” (Ephesians 5:1-2), even as we lead decisively in our homes, congregations, work places, and communities.
This life-long pursuit to answer the key questions decisive leaders need to ask is a journey of maturing faith and painful encounters. It takes a lifetime to fully understand and embrace. However, the manner by which we live and lead should increasingly reflect our transformed spiritual DNA, and be profoundly evidenced in us by those who know us best.
In so walking and leading in the spirit of continuing transformation into Christlikeness, we can believe that the Master teacher and leader, Jesus the Christ, will say to us at the end of our days, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Well done.
When we come to the end of our journey, may it be said of us that we led decisively by providing something “greater than…” (John 14:12) because we were prayerful, intentional and committed disciples of Jesus! We led with clear vision, deep humility, and intense resolve. We connected the faith we profess and proclaim to the way we live and lead. What a legacy to leave behind. What a legacy!
E. LeBron Fairbanks