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The Bottom Line of Spiritual Leadership

Written by Chuck Olson

When was the last time you read something that drilled its way deep into your life? Something you couldn’t shake for days, for weeks?

How about for YEARS?

Over twenty years ago, I read something that hit me like a proverbial freight train. Its impact was so significant, I logged it into a journal that I have revisited repeatedly throughout the years. In a book entitled Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald chiseled these words permanently on my heart.

Privileges I lose when I neglect my spiritual center:

  • I lose the ability to learn to enjoy the eternal and infinite perspective on reality.
  • I lose a vital, life-giving friendship with Christ.
  • I lose the fear of accountability to God.
  • I lose the awareness of my real size in comparison to the Creator.
  • I lose reserve or resolve for crisis moments.

Potent. Convicting.

When leaders put their relationship with Christ on hold—neglect their spiritual center—they enter into a realm of risk and exposure and vulnerability. It’s like wandering thoughtlessly into a spiritual minefield. Something is likely to happen. And it won’t be good.

When leaders put their relationship with Christ on hold—neglect their spiritual center—they enter into a realm of risk and exposure and vulnerability.

Leaders need an eternal perspective on reality; otherwise, we get sucked into a world view that places God passively on the sidelines.

Leaders need friendship with Christ; otherwise, it all becomes cold, sterile, perfunctory.

Leaders need accountability; otherwise, we become easy prey for an enemy who relentlessly pursues our destruction.

Leaders need to know their size; otherwise, we shrink-wrap the Omnipotent and over-inflate our piece of the action.

And leaders need reserve; otherwise, we are easily overtaken when the tsunamis of life and leadership hit our zip code.

As you review the game film of your own life and leadership, what level of priority are you giving to your relationship with Christ? Has it become a quick “high five” as you head out the door or is it the core of who you are?

In his book The Great Omission, Dallas Willard makes this convicting observation: The single most obvious trait of those who profess Christ but do not grow into Christ-likeness is their refusal to take the reasonable and time-tested measures for spiritual growth.

Jesus clearly states His case in John 15: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”

The opportunity: great.

The stakes: high.

The choice: yours.


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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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