When God Defines Leadership

Jen CudmoreFaith, Womanhood1 Comment

She said we had ‘ridiculous potential’.

Looking down at us from where she stood on the church stage, Beth shook her head in that delightful, spunky way. Her eyes were wide with determination that we accept how much God believes in us – every woman who attended the Lifeway conference. How He has a great plan for each of us. How He intends to use us to accomplish great things in His name.

Her message about being effective and productive in our calling was inspiring, and I came away determined to be steadfast in the tasks that God has assigned me.

Even if it means I have to work a full time job at the office.

Sometimes our idea of what our calling should look like isn’t the same as God’s plan.

Sometimes normal daily routine feels less important than ministry service such as leading a Bible study, going on a mission trip, playing piano in church, or being a pastor’s wife. But we need to be careful not to underestimate our impact, no matter our circumstances.

God’s been showing me over the past year or so that He has a heart for nations. He doesn’t just reside (or move!) in churches – He’s much bigger than that. He positions His children in various businesses and agencies so His will can be done on earth. He places prayer warriors inside companies and organizations to call forth His plans and purposes.

The other day I was chatting with one of my staff about how we don’t always notice when we influence others, and it’s nice to see where we’ve touched the lives of others. As she complimented me on being a good manager, I was reminded that God is pretty smart in passing out assignments. He knows what He’s doing, and I must allow Him to position me where He decides I’ll do the most good in each season.

Because ministry and leadership are not just for church.

For several years I’ve desired to quit my day job and write full time. I’ve shared previously that I wasn’t real excited when I felt His nudges to seek management at the medical office where I’ve been working for over a decade. Yet once again, He reminded me that this clinic is important to Him somehow, that my being there helps bring about His will for Alaska. He’s called me to be a watchman. A guardian. An intercessor.

I was thrilled to see that the Lifeway conference wasn’t solely focused on ministry, but offered classes for those of us in the business world. I decided to check out a session about the differences between being a boss and a leader. I came away relieved that, despite my lingering fear of getting it wrong, I’m doing many things right. Sure, being a manager (and a watchman) is a big responsibility, but He keeps reminding me that like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He is my God and He is with me.

I’m trying to see my calling from God’s perspective; He believes in me, or He wouldn’t have given me the promotion. What if I believed in myself? What if I embraced this leadership position He gave me? He thinks I have ridiculous potential to be a manager in a medical clinic.

Where is God calling you to be a leader? Where is your influence needed? Where do you have ridiculous potential? And where is He encouraging you to support other leaders?

May we all be careful to guard against setting limitations on ourselves. May our expectations always match His, and may our calling be solely defined by Him.

About Jen Cudmore

I’m a wife, mom, blogger and novelist who also works a day job in the medical field. I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge, earned a BA in Psychology at Northwest University, and am currently very active in my church. My passion is inspiring women to seek Jesus in all aspects of life so they can recognize where they are living in bondage and be set free to live the abundant life God promises. You can connect with me at www.jencudmore.com.

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