It is a moment that is pasted for perpetuity in the scrapbook of my heart.

A few years ago, forty-seven of us cleared our calendars, packed our bags, stamped our passports, and headed to Israel. It was nothing less than a ten-day “journey of a lifetime”.

Day four would take its place as THE highlight among too many to count.

The morning started out as each of us, under the hush of dawn, made our way from our kibbutz-like hotel to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. As the sun steadily climbed the eastern sky, casting its brilliant reflection across the sea, seventeen people, one by one, gave witness to the life-changing power of their relationship with Jesus Christ. And one by one, I had the unsurpassable privilege of lowering them into the waters of baptism as each announced their allegiance to the One Who walked on the same waters 2000 years prior.

It was a priceless moment as each person made a public proclamation: “I will follow Jesus Christ all the days of my life.”

When I look through the lens of leadership about the declarations that were made on that remarkable morning in Israel, I find myself wondering about the declarations of a leader. What are (or should be) the declarations of a leader? What should be the witness of the person who wholeheartedly desires to lead like Jesus?

In pursuit of these questions, I offer a handful of declarations for your consideration.

  1. I will seek to discover God’s plans and purposes and lead in that direction—only. This will not be about me or my dreams or my agenda.
  2. I am here to serve, not to be served. I will constantly ask God where I can make a contribution to His Kingdom work and then roll up my sleeves and get busy.
  3. I will confess daily that I am desperate for God’s grace and wisdom, that apart from Him I can do nothing.
  4. I will live and lead within a community of counsel and accountability. I will not go it alone. I will grant full access for godly people to speak into my life and leadership.
  5. I will suit up daily knowing that there is an enemy who aggressively seeks to destroy my life and my witness.
  6. I will embrace my leadership role as a stewardship, avoiding the entitlements that often attend positions of influence.
  1. I will seek to create sacred space for myself and for those I lead to hear the whispers of God’s voice of direction.
  2. I will endeavor to make God’s presence in my life the distinguishing mark of my leadership.
  3. I will celebrate and embrace that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.
  4. I will make my singular goal the words of my Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

So what do you think? What declaration would you add?

My personal encouragement to you would be to calendar some solitude time to draft out your own list of declarations. They will serve you well, especially during seasons of challenge and uncertainty.

And oh yes, one more thought. Be sure to front-load each declaration with the words “By the grace of God and the enabling power of His Spirit…”