Copyright Tammy Teague, 2013. You may copy for personal, non-commercial use.
1) Leaders who do not finish well
2) Leaders who finish well but with only mediocre impact
3) Leaders who finish well and have powerful impact
Robert Clinton found these three categories in his study of thousands of leaders. Every leader wants to capture a spot in category #3.
So, how do you get there?
You can read about it in Clinton’s book, The Making of a Leader* (which we highly recommend), but he expressed the answer with one word:
Convergence happens in a leaders life when the two tracks of “being” and “doing” merge as a whole–like train tracks coming together in the distance. Not every leader achieves convergence. Only those in category #3. It’s a God thing, accomplished through a leader’s alignment with Christ’s work in his or her life. It happens when a leader’s life experience, training, gifts, abilities, and character come together in a role that’s just right for that person. The two tracks of being and doing integrate into one.
In Keith Yoder’s life, for example, convergence happened when he realized God called him to be a resource for pastors. Up until that point, Keith experienced a variety of roles and education that developed his gifts and character to prepare him for this life purpose. Keith found that more and more, pastors invited him to speak or conduct seminars. Usually after such events, the pastors took him out to eat. There they asked him questions about specific situations. “We have this problem Keith. What’s your advice?” Keith found that as he remained sensitive to the Holy Spirit, the wisdom for that situation flowed through him.
At one point, Keith realized, “This is why God made me.” In this role Keith found fulfillment of purpose, joy and rest.
Up until that point, everything Keith had experienced in life, and everything that God had developed in his character, had merged as a whole to support this calling.
Convergence usually happens to “older” leaders (but sometimes to younger). Robert Clinton finds that God takes leaders through a number of experiences, testing and refining them through difficult circumstances, isolation, desperation, loss, et. al. But Christ thickens them, builds them toward fulfilling their life purposes.
No matter where you are in your leadership walk, the key to reaching convergence exists only in relationship and alignment with Christ. Keep your ears focused on hearing the Shepherd’s voice, following His leading as Head of His church. Jesus will make all the parts, including your part, fit together in His body.
Keith recorded an interview with Robert Clinton’s daughter, Cathryn Hoellwarth. Click here to listen to an excerpt from this audio, Convergence.
*Original book The Making of a Leader, by Dr. Robert Clinton of Fuller Seminary, was published in 1988, but has been revised and updated with 25 years of continued research.
- Patricia Tillman, from Keith Yoder’s audio, Convergence
When we lead with integrity, we can stand in confidence, not only before others, but before God. Psalm 26 records David’s evaluation of his own integrity, and how that gave him confidence to boldly petition God: “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity…”
The following experience uses Psalm 26 as a guide to evaluate the integrity in our own leadership.
Leadership Integrity Check
Father God, as I process through these five aspects of integrity, I open my heart to Your direction in my life. Show me where You are working in my leadership, where I’ve aligned with You, and where You’re drawing me to make adjustments to more fully align with You.
1) Integrity in My Walk (Psalm 26:2):
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and heart.
- Do I regularly invite the Lord to examine my heart, and wait to hear what He reveals?
- When God has convicted me to adjust areas of my character or attitude–either directly, through circumstance, or through the voice of others–have I submitted to Him to change my habits?
2) Integrity of Truth and Love in my Relationships (Psalm 26:3):
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.
- In each of my relationships, do I sincerely have the other’s interests as my uppermost concern?
- Or are there any relationships where I may be taking advantage of someone in a self-serving manner?
- Do I use humor or wit in a sarcastic way that may hurt others, instead of working out situations with honest sharing?
3) Integrity in My Dealings (Psalm 26:4-5):
- When others around me desire to do or justify anything deceptive, illegal, or immoral, do I choose to do the right thing, and trust God’s blessing over my life no matter what the consequences might be?
4) Integrity in My Worship (Psalm 26:6-8):
- Do I act the same way at home or work as I do at church?
- Do I love the Lord sincerely with my heart, or is my worship more out of habit or religion?
5) Integrity of Words (Psalm 26:9-10):
- Do I do what I say I will do?
- Do I use deception when trying to sell my goods or services?
- Do my words represent reality, or do I speak without exaggeration or boasting?
But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me.
My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the Lord.
- Psalm 26:11-12
Matthew 5:37; Mark 12:14; Luke 16:10-12; Titus 1:9; Colossians 4:6 I Timothy 2:8
- Patricia Tillman
For prayers to help you meditate and “soak in” the perfect love of Father God, see Wednesday’s blog: Finding Perfect Love instead of Fear
Scrip Pic by Teaching the Word Ministries, 2015. You may copy for personal, non-commercial use only.
Meditations for soaking in the Father’s perfect love…
I’m talking about the kind of fear that debilitates, if even for a minute or two. The kind that hinders a leader’s ability to take initiative, to influence others with the fullest potential that God intended.
Fear keeps us from making decisions,from sharing of ourselves, from reaching out to others… You know what it does.
What’s the opposite of fear? The Biblical answer: perfect love. It casts out fear (I John 4:18). And the only perfect love we know is Father God.
Soaking our souls in the Father’s perfect love is real, not just positive thinking or imagination. As we release our lives to Him, the Father’s love surrounds us for real, bringing faith, assurance, courage, security, and deep, deep peace.
Monday we discussed how choosing to fear God instead of everything else frees us from dibilitating fear. Instead of fearing loss, threats, people, suffering or death, we fear God. Instead of seeing the situation from our human perspective, we allow God to lift us into His perspective, in His arms where nothing can prevail against an all powerful, all-knowing, always there, trustworthy Father of perfect love.
When you or someone you’re ministering to struggles with fear, find time for “soaking,” basking in the “washing of the water of the word,” allowing the Father’s perfect love to saturate your soul. Dim the lights. Play worshipful music, and just receive Jesus’ touch. Feel free to use the following meditations. Speak them softly over yourself, or ask another to pray them over you, or pray them over someone else. Soak them in…
- Daddy Father, I receive Your perfect love that casts out all fear (Romans 8:15; I John 4:18).
- “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).
- I receive Your everlasting love, Father God, and the lovingkindness with which You draw me and affirm me (Jeremiah 31:3).
- I receive Your baptism, Jesus, of the Holy Spirit, Your own presence of fire (Luke 3:16).
- I receive Your breath of the wind of the Spirit, Your deep peace, Your calling (John 20:22).
- I taste of You, Father God, and see that You are good. As I fear only You, I see Your angels encamped around me (Psalm 34:7-9).
- I receive Your good and perfect gifts, Father of Lights, and trust in Your secure, solid character that has no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17).
- I receive Your affirmation, that You establish me in Christ and anoint me. I say Yes! and Amen! to Your promises of peace, joy, rest and love.
- As I fear You, I submit my will to Yours, to hear and obey Your loving direction in my life. I fully enter Your rest (Hebrews 4:1).
For deeper understanding of how fear works and how to break free from fear, or how to minister freedom to others, check out Keith Yoder’s audio, Breaking the Cycle of Fear.
What attitudes have you found helpful in overcoming fear? Feel free to post below…
Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Matthew 10:28-31; Luke 1:50; Ephesians 5:26; Philippians 4:6-7; II Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 5:7-10; James 1:5-6; I John 4:18
- Patricia Tillman, from Keith Yoder’s audio, Breaking the Cycle of Fear