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Serving God’s Agenda

Written by Chuck Olson

April 2013 – Confession: I like To-Do lists.

More confession: I get a buzz CHECKING things off my To-Do list.

Even more confession: If I do something that is NOT on my To-Do list, I will ADD it to my list and check it off! (Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe there’s a recovery group for us out there!)

For those who missed the memo, a To-Do list is simply a daily inventory of things to do, often numbered in the order of importance (thank you, Wikipedia). In short, a To-Do list becomes your personal agenda for the tasks you believe must be completed on a given day.

So where am I headed with all this talk about To-Do lists? What’s the connection with the life of a leader?

Thanks for asking.

I believe that one of the primary challenges of spiritual leadership is this: the temptation to serve the wrong agenda.

Think about it. A leader by nature initiates. A leader is hardwired to make plans. A leader loves to line things out. Cast vision. Shape culture. Implement game plans. They can’t help themselves. It’s what they do.

Ah…but there’s the rub. When you move into the realm of SPIRITUAL leadership, things change. The questions are different.

Let me take it a step further.

It’s early in the morning. You’re comfortably positioned in your favorite chair—Bible in one hand, coffee in the other. In the quietness of that moment, what prayer do you speak out? My experience tells me that a leader on auto-pilot voices a prayer that sounds something like this: “Lord, here’s my plans (my agenda, my To-Do list), bless them.” Sound familiar? (In all candor, I’ve prayed that prayer way too many times).

From my search of the Scriptures, any prayer that asks God to bless MY agenda misses the mark.

In their insightful book Spiritual Leadership, Henry and Richard Blackaby pen these discerning words: God does not ask leaders to dream big dreams for him or to solve the problems that confront them. He asks leaders to walk with him so intimately that, when he reveals what is on his agenda, they will immediately adjust their lives to his will and the results will bring glory to God.

Do you see the difference? It’s an attitude, a perspective on life and leadership that calls out that my agenda must be formed and fashioned and aligned with God’s agenda.

In short, it’s a shift. A significant shift.

And more importantly, it’s a prayer. A much different prayer.

It’s no longer, “Lord, here’s my agenda, bless it”, but, “Lord, here’s my life, use it.




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Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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