I like To-Do lists. Maybe you do too.

A To-Do list, according to Wiktionary, is a list of errands and other tasks—often written on a piece of paper as a memory aid—that one needs or intends to accomplish. Long story short, a To-Do list becomes your personal agenda for the tasks you believe must be completed on a given day.

So what? What’s the convergence between To-Do lists and leadership?

Glad you asked.

I believe that one of the primary challenges of spiritual leadership is this: the temptation to serve the wrong agenda. To have an off-target To-Do list.

Think about it. Leaders by nature initiate. Leaders are hardwired to make plans. Leaders love 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’s take it a step further.

It’s early in the morning—a time for personal worship. In the quietness of that moment, what prayer do you speak out? My own personal experience informs 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.”