Sunday, October 7, 2012

Long-Distance Leadership

As men, we are called to be the spiritual heads of our homes. We occupy the place of being priests; doing the work that the priests did in the Old Testament, but in a New Testament world. Maybe it would be easier for us if we could think of ourselves as pastors, rather than priests. Both essentially have the same calling and the same job, although there is some difference in the manifestation.

As pastors, we have a responsibility towards God for the sheep He has put under our care. What sheep? Our wife and our children. If you have no other ministry, it is to pastor your family; providing them with spiritual leadership through teaching, prayer, and living a godly life before them.

Okay, so how do you do that when they are away? Does your responsibility to minister to them end when they get on an airplane or drive out of town? My wife and my daughters are out of town right now. That doesn’t mean that I’m not married to my wife, nor does it mean that I’m not my daughters’ daddy. So, if I still have that relationship with them, I am responsible to minister to them, no matter where they are.

So, once again, how does one pastor their family by long distance? It’s actually rather simple in concept, although it can be rather difficult in execution.

The short answer is to do the same things via long-distance that you do when they are close. That means continuing to pray for them, teach them the Word, demonstrate Christ-likeness and provide Biblical counsel when they need it.

Whatever you do, don’t take their absence to mean that you’re on vacation from your responsibilities. Those God-given responsibilities exist as long as you are alive. You just need to adapt your methodology. Send a word of encouragement via a text message; e-mail a revelation that the Holy Spirit has given you; let them know that you’re praying for them; and whatever you do, make sure that you are available to them when they need you.

You see, true leadership transcends time and space. Generals in the army have to lead people who are scattered across thousands of miles. Often, the only contact they have with those people is through the radio. If they can do it, we can as well. True leadership isn’t about the authority you exert over someone’s life, but about the influence you have in it. 

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