Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. -Hebrews 1:1-3
An argument can be made that everyone has faith. While this faith may be in one’s self, another person, an object, or a self-help guru, everyone puts his or her life’s focus on something and acts in a way to serve that object of affection. Jesus provided this warning, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21). The treasure Jesus was referring to in this passage was the object of faith in one’s life. Christ’s imperative exhorted the hearers to place their faith in that which is eternal, as everything else will one day cease to exist. Christian leaders must be people of faith, faith in the God who created them and gifted them to serve in leadership. While the treasures of this world are a constant temptation, leaders must maintain a centrality of focus to refrain from leading others astray while providing a useful example of true and saving faith.
Anyone who has served in a leadership capacity for any amount of time can testify that conflict and uncertainty are often present. While it may seem easy to have strong faith during times of peace and success, it is during the trials when faith is tested the most. Christian leaders are blessed to have the Holy Spirit within them to drive them closer to Christ, and trials are God’s means for this to occur. While reading of the trials of Job, the persecution of Daniel, and the execution of Stephen, the Christian leader can take solace in knowing God will never abandon him nor forsake him in his darkest moments. The Christian leader can hold firmly to the promise of God that he will never leave or forsake his own (Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5). Under the severest hardships, leaders often feel alone and disregarded. During these times, their faith becomes stronger as they are carried through the fire, just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were spared by God in the furnace (Dan 3:16-28). Christian leaders, may we lead by faith and never doubt the promises of God.
-Soli Deo Gloria