Whom do you follow? Who is following you?
As many parts of the country are eagerly anticipating the sun and warmth of the next season, it is a good time to evaluate where we are before we “spring” into the future.
As Christians and as leaders, self-reflection is always helpful. Use these questions as conversation starters between yourself and God:
- Am I following the model of leadership set by Jesus? Jesus kept his priorities: God first and others second. Are your personal and business decisions always made with this in mind? Are there areas of your life where you could follow Jesus a little more closely?
- Am I leading others in the way of Jesus? Following Jesus is not easy, but it is the way in which we find true life. How do you pick up the cross daily? When the challenging and difficult come your way, when the temptation to take short cuts or the easy way are before you – how do you grace-fully make the right decision? How do you share this decision-making process with those who look to you as a mentor?
These questions are not meant to produce guilt – only to start an internal dialogue.
If your relationship with God needs a little fine-tuning, the Lenten season is a perfect time to explore ways to deepen your relationship with God and increase your mentoring skills.
- Prayer – shake up your prayer life! I know there are times when I get stuck in a rut with prayer. When we engage in a different prayer form, our spiritual ears start to hear new things. You might want to check out the Upper Room website for new practices or to refresh ones you haven’t used in a while. This may be the jump-start you have been looking for to go deeper and broader with God and others.
- Study – consider doing a topical Bible study on leadership. Study the stories of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-2:10), Deborah (Judges 4), Ruth, Esther, Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Mary Magdalene (John 20:1-10), Lydia (Acts 16:11-15, 40), or Dorcas (Acts 8:36-42). Apply what you learn to your relationships with employees and those whom you mentor.
- Service – try a mission or ministry that is entirely new to you! If you have helped with feeding programs, make a short-term commitment to volunteer with a clothing center. If you have worked to clothe the naked, perhaps the time is right to step into a prison. When we step into new places, we often encounter the Lord through those whom we serve. Once you have been blessed, turn the blessing over to others and invite them to serve with you.
You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the One who loves you (Psalm 139:14). You were created for great things. Follow your Leader and you will lead your followers in the right path!
About Carol Pazdersky
Carol Pazdersky is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. She serves the faith communities of St. John’s UMC in Lutherville, MD, and Idlewylde UMC as lead pastor. As the member of the District Committee on Ministry, Carol has mentored other women as they answer their call to ministry. On a daily basis, Carol ministers with women who are seeking to balance their personal, professional, and spiritual lives. She is a wife, mother of three young adults, friend, and animal lover and on the same journey to find balance.