Positive Leadership -- By: David P. Murray

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 05:1 (Jan 2013)
Article: Positive Leadership
Author: David P. Murray


Positive Leadership

David P. Murray

It can be difficult for Christian leaders to maintain a positive outlook. Multiple obstacles, difficulties, discouragements, and frustrations with ourselves and with others can pull us down and create an extremely negative “can’t do” attitude. As this can often happen so slowly that we don’t even notice it, let me hold up the mirror of positive leadership to help us examine ourselves and to encourage a return to more biblical attitudes and actions.

Is Cheerful

When people think of you, what image or picture immediately comes into their minds? When they hear your name, it’s as if a little passport picture of you pops out of their mental files. What does that picture look like? Is it glum, sad, hopeless, and depressed? Or is it happy, joyful, and cheerful? Or is it robotic neutrality—a Stoic of the Stoics?

The positive leader possesses and projects a happy attitude and appearance. He’s not Mr. Happy all the time; he knows there is a time for sobriety and sorrow. But on the whole, he is an optimist rather than a pessimist. He enjoys his work, he looks forward to each day (or most days), and he tries to find the silver lining on the darkest clouds, a smiling face behind the darkest providence. He faces problems in the church and in individual lives with optimistic hope, trusting that God’s Word and Spirit can make the most impossible situation possible.

This cheerfulness is not a matter of natural temperament, although most people God chooses to be leaders do have a happier disposition. The joy of the Lord is his strength (Neh. 8:10). He builds his happiness out of his knowledge and experience of God. He rejoices in his own salvation by grace, his own fellowship with the Lord, his knowledge of God’s Word, and his divine calling to the ministry.

A sunny character and joy-filled words attract people and empower them. It is much easier to follow such a person than someone who looks like a tornado and who speaks like an undertaker.

Is Climbing

In Scotland, there’s a hobby called “Munro-bagging.” A Munro is a mountain that is over three thousand feet high and “Munro-baggers” spend their leisure time “bagging” (climbing) these Munros. They plan, organize, train, buy supplies, enlist friends, rise early, drive many hours, and then they climb…and climb…and climb. After bagging their first Munro, most usually aim for 10, then 100, then 200, until, after many years, all 283 peaks are conquered—all this while the rest of us are enjoying our Saturday morning sleep-ins.

Positive Christian ...

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