I have heard time and time again that not every one is born a leader. There is certain truth to that when a person deliberately refuses the skill or talent given to him and not uses it. I have also been mistaken largely when people said leaders are ones who only lead and don’t do the work. I did not find myself in that category either mainly because I was never the one directing but doing, showing by doing. This warped meaning of leader was straightened out when I was working as an intern at my church and had to speak on the topic of ‘Hospitality in the church.’
I knew Jesus had a lot to say about leadership just as so many others know yet I dared to emphasize on the same fact that to lead, you first have to be a servant. All his life Jesus served and even to his death, he was eventually serving humanity. I dwelt on things that my pastor and so-called church leaders were doing; all of them were mainly serving. Thus, I concluded that if I want to be a leader, I first have to serve. I cannot be a leader if I do not have followers following me. And how can I lead if followers are not imitating me? Indeed, how can I have followers if I am not modeling? When Jesus led the disciples, he was in fact modeling with a mission in his mind. If my pastor and church-leaders are leading, they are actually modeling so their church members may imitate them. What a spot to be in though! A leader has thousands eyes looking at him, so to mess up means you might derail those thousand eyes.
As for me, if I were ever to be a leader I want to make sure that I know what I am doing. In the long run, I want to be a counselor, precisely a marriage counselor. As a newly wed, this looks like an ambitious desire. But ever since I became a Christian and were under mature/married Christian women’s discipleship and later mentoring, I saw one thing in common in them. All of them had an honorable married life. Their wisdom and counsel were genuine because the most important relation as wives was God-centered thus their counsel was stable and healthy.
My mission in life is that married women would desire to uphold a God-centered and honorable marriage. In Nepali culture many of our values are derived from Hinduism. The women consider their husbands as god and worship them. We can see some biblical parallels in this. As Christians too, we are to honor our husbands as head of the family just as Christ is the head of the church, his bride. However, this picture is severely distorted in our culture. Women are oppressed and joy of being in the marriage is crushed. Yet I have hope that this important familial relationship can be redeemed in our culture.
‘Show and Tell’ is my favorite expression that I believe a leader should live by. As a leader I want to be aware that I am a person of integrity and character. Especially, in my work place my co-workers will be the closest that I work with and hypocrisy will be the first thing they will be critical about. What I model is what I can be demanding of. I cannot set a good example if I demand integrity when I am not myself. Secondly, my hypocrisy will also defeat the purposes of my counseling.
As a wife of a missionary or a church leader, the onus is greater on wives to be of noble character. One of the major reasons for closure of churches has been a lack of character in leaders. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones,” says King Solomon in his Proverbs. But I also understand that this nobility does not simply come from my efforts but dependence upon God and His Word. Thus, being a genuine student of the Bible and follower of Christ is another characteristic of a leader.
I also cannot be a Mrs. Know it all. Leaders are also called to be perceptive and keen listeners. I should be as perspicuous as I can be when it comes to stating my goals but also should not ignore flexibility. Good leaders revise their goal as work progresses and as more input come from people they work with. A proud leader is hardly a kind of person, people would like to follow.
All in all, there are three streams of leadership that I want to be involved in the future and all the three go hand in hand. I want to be involved in marriage counseling inside and outside of church. Secondly, in the stream of discipleship, I want to guide new and growing Christian ladies in their new journey. Thirdly, as a wife, I want to be a praying wife and motivate wives whose husbands are in ministry to support and pray for their husband’s ministry. I have seen ministries crumble due to zero or minimum support from a spouse. The biggest desire of my heart is that I can motivate women to pray for their husbands and their ministry.
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