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How can you become an effective leader that is successful in serving orphans?

Everything rises and falls on leadership.” John Maxwell

If you were to ask someone who feels called to care for orphans, “What is it you need to learn to care for orphans well?”, what do you think they would say?

boy-926103_1280 (1)Looking at people’s actions, it’s safe to say they’ll say “Nothing.”
I mean, how many people who say they feel called to care for orphans take the time to learn or train themselves for the job?
It’s as though there were something with caring for the poor that tells us we need no training. We are ready to go change the world with our zeal and passions alone!

The truth is that there are many things we need to learn. In my opinion, the most important of them is leadership. John Maxwell has rightly said that “everything rises and falls on leadership.” If you look at the Bible, God judged the nation of Israel according to the kind of leader who was in power. He blessed the nation when there was a good leader in power and punished the nation if the leaders were not good. This thread is very clear throughout the Bible. Look at the example of David. God sent the nation into civil war because of David’s actions when David alone killed Uriah and took his wife Bathsheba (see 2 Sam 11-19). God also brought a plaque on the nation of Israel and killed thousands of people because David, the leader decided to count the people! David wasn’t killed, the people were! A leader represents the people before God and what he does determines the destiny of the people. The people rise and fall based on the leadership ability of their leaders. Our leadership can bring suffering or blessings to orphans! A holy fear grips my heart everything this truth takes hold of me. Every time I realize that I will be judged for how I led the people God put under me.

At the core, great orphan care is about transformation, not provision. At the core, great orphan care is about transformation, not provision (via @AustinBibleInst) Click To TweetTransformation only happens when we positively influence people. Leadership is influence, our ability to positively influence others. Because we humans are so unique and have different needs and perceptions, influencing people deeply is not as easy as it sounds.

We are not born leaders. Some of us may have more gifts than others that make it a little bit easier for us to develop our leadership skills. But in every case, leadership is something you learn. It doesn’t just come to you. All influential leaders that I know learned and grew in their leadership skills. Even spiritual leaders like Jesus Christ learned and grew. Luke the Physician writes, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” In this quote from Luke, we see the four major areas that Jesus grew in.

He grew in:

  • Stature – that is material or physical growth.
  • Wisdom – wisdom is knowledge understood and applied. This is growth and maturation at the level of the mind, will, and emotions.
  • Favor with God – that is spiritual growth.
  • Favor with man – that is social growth, growth in understanding, relating, and influencing other people.

These are the same four areas that all successful leaders grow in. To help you remember them, I’ve come up with the acrostic MESS.

I encourage you to take the steps needed to grow in your leadership. One such step is subscribing to my free leadership blog. If you want to put more time into it, and, of course, get more reward, consider applying to Austin Bible Institute and taking a certificate program in Transformative Christlike Leadership or another leadership program. You can also do both for maximum benefit!

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