“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1
“Christians are supposed not merely to endure change,
nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.”
Harry Emerson Fosdick.
An important role of Christian leadership is to be change agents. Leaders need to exercise a transformational ministry. They need to affect others toward maturity in the Lord Jesus Christ. They need to be inventive and imaginative. They need to be catalysts that instigate metamorphosis. They need to be people who challenge the status quo. And they need to instill in others the motivation to develop into whom they ought to be.
That’s a high calling. It takes a great deal of moral courage to step up to the plate when you know that an essential component of leadership is confrontation – challenging people to break out of their comfort zones.
Jesus is the prime example. He was confrontational in so much of what He said and did. The Gospels describe how He went head to head with the Scribes and Pharisees, how He chased the money changers out of the Temple, and how He challenged many of the accepted norms and traditions of His time. He was the greatest change agent the world had ever known. But He never confronted anyone the wrong way. There was no sin in Him, nothing negative, no selfish agenda. He was a change agent for one reason only – to point people to the Father.
Abraham is another good example. Even though he had no title and no one to command outside of his own household, he was a good leader because he chose to be different, chose to be God’s man. The choice was made when he separated himself from the sin and paganism of his day.
That’s the key to being a change agent – being set apart to God’s purposes. Abraham became the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5) because he walked before God and was blameless (cf. Genesis 17:1). He looked to God and only to Him. He took the road less travelled.
The results speak for themselves: Abraham established an inheritance that had a lasting impact – becoming a spiritual father to an extensive family of spiritual children.
Like Christ and Abraham, Christian leaders have to be change agents to fulfill the leadership mandate. They fall far short of God’s ideal if they merely maintain, monitor, and mediate in accordance with the accepted norms and traditions of the church or organization in which they serve.
Maybe you’re called to be a change agent. It’s a high calling. You can’t think about changing others until you’ve thought about changing yourself. Conviction, confession, courage, consecration, and commitment are needed. You must “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles … fix (your) eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross … and … consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” Hebrews 12:1-3.