By Heidi Tonseth
This winter, Melisa wanted the Blossom Leaders to take Gallup’s Strengths Based Leadership test. We then attended a Leadership class to work with and understand the information from the test. I found the information interesting; however I went and left with a large piece I still couldn’t make sense of. I puzzled my way through December and January and into February.
Finally, some of the pieces fell into place. On the surface it’s just a question of semantics, but I think on a deeper level it speaks to a difference between the world’s focus and what should be our focus as Christians.
The piece I was struggling with was the title “Leadership” specifically. Melisa helped me onto the right path. She asked me if the problem was I didn’t see myself as a Leader. Well, she was right and her question set me thinking. Why didn’t I see myself as a leader?
The answer: I still don’t see myself as a leader. In part this comes from my mental picture of a leader and part of it is how I was brought up.
Although I know this isn’t entirely accurate, I usually think of the leader as the person standing up front talking. This is definitely not something I enjoy or where I am comfortable. I usually try to avoid it any way I can. I prefer to be the person more in the background (hopefully not exactly noticed) helping with those little side details. Yes, I realize as I write this I’m probably a bit delusional, but it’s a comfortable delusion and one I need to work on.
As for the other part, my father taught me to serve. In other words, to help where I can and whenever something is happening. As Christians our focus needs to be on serving. Yes, I know leaders can and should be servants, but there should be a difference in how we approach it. The world tells us to seek out “positions of leadership.” This is usually to gain prestige, power and/or money. As Christians we should be seeking positions in leadership, but the reasons should be vastly different. We need to be leading in order to help people, encourage godly thought processes and godly actions. Sadly, instead of encouraging people to seek out how they can serve those around them, the church tends to fall into the same worldly thought patterns of power and prestige.
The Pharisees once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. He told them “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37) This is part of our covenant relationship with Christ. We usually stop here and start worrying. We worry about our relationship with Christ and how we can have a closer walk with Christ. We worry that we are not doing enough. We worry because we don’t feel as close to him as we want. We worry… It now has become all about us. We should make our relationship with Christ a priority; after all it is the greatest commandment. But we can’t stop there.
Jesus didn’t stop there. He continued, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) We now have what should be the rest of the covenant – our relationship with those around us. We cannot neglect this part of the commandment. If we do, we miss part of the cross. To love our neighbor as ourselves we have to serve them.
We need to give ourselves to serving one another within the church body and the community around us. ~ Heidi Tonseth
If your actions inspire others to
dream more, learn more, do more, and
become more, you are a leader!
– Chris LeDoux
LEAD WITH YOUR STRENGTHS
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Heidi Tonseth is wife to Samuel and homeschooling mother of 6. They live on the Waterville Plateau and are working on developing HiStory Farm. Besides producing milk and hopefully other crops, HiStory Farm is dedicated to teaching God’s Story as found in the Bible and in the lives of his people today. When not working on schoolwork with the kids, Heidi loves music, reading and weaving. She has been involved in church music and leadership at various levels since she was 8 years old. Currently, Heidi plays the piano at her home church for worship and other functions as well as playing the flute with Proclaiming Brass, a small ensemble connected to her church. Heidi is also a part of Blossom Ministries’ leadership team. www.blossomministries.com
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