I walked away from lunch with a great picture of what leadership can look like. These conversations often produce gold on the side with little unexpected tangents as we sit and talk with great friends gathered in Sri Lanka for an international meeting with the foursquare leaders in Asia last week.
These leaders gathered for the ECFC conference, that is the Eastern Council of Foursquare Churches. These meetings are so colorful, passionate and spirit empowered as they gather every other year for prayer and enrichment. It was great to be at the ECFC conference again. Some of my heroes in the faith lead churches in these 30 nations represented in this meeting from Asia and the South Pacific. This wonderful collage of all these nations gathered together and seeing good friends again.
One of these good friends also happens to be one of my favorite mentors who I happened to catch for lunch. We sat down and discussed missiology, ministry and how we were doing. In this conversation, my mentor told me how that night’s speaker explained leadership. Rather than doing what us Americans often do wrong in implementing American leadership that follows the CEO model and looks very foreign in most of the world, to look at leadership differently. He used the picture of a father.
Leading like a father transcends culture, he explained. As he continued, he said that a leader does not have to be old or in certain position as long as he leads like a father or with the heart of a father. All peoples can catch that kind of leadership and be willing to go with that.
Truly, I can say in a culture like Thailand, people see their leaders like a father. If someone is having a difficulty or hardship, the leader goes out of his way to help these people. The leader sacrifices and leads out of relationship in such a deeper way than can easily be sensed at first.
I wonder how much more impact can be made worldwide when we see leadership through the lens of a father, a good father who wants to see the best in his children.
Do you have any word pictures that help you see leadership that transcends context or circumstances of an organization or group?