The Art of Leadership By Dag Heward-Mills
Every leader will fight many battles. In his many battles as a leader, he must know that he will have some losses. A good leader knows that there will be losses on his road to the overall victory. Do not be sad about some of the losses you have experienced as you have endeavoured to follow the Lord all the way. Ultimately, God will give you the victory and when you sum up the gains and the losses, you can see the increase of the Lord.
Jesus answered them, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70
Jesus Christ was well prepared to lose one of His favourite disciples. He knew he had done everything to save the soul of Judas Iscariot. But in life, there are casualties!
The casualties must not confuse the leader. Your victory can be defined as a summary of your gains and losses. When you put everything together, you must have gained more than you lost.
Remember, a sower went out to sow! The sower had very little response from his seeds. Only twenty-five per cent of the seeds responded. Out of the twenty-five percent, only a third responded completely. In other words, the sower lost most of his seeds. That is the nature of ministry!
A good leader knows that he will have losses in spite of all that he does. Some people are going to fall to immorality, no matter what you do or say. Some marriages will be lost no matter the amount of marriage counselling that is done. No matter how you much you preach on loyalty and faithfulness, some people will be disloyal. No matter how good your leadership style is, some people will attack and accuse you of being a bad leader. No matter how kind and loving you are, there will always be ungrateful and forgetful people.
What it Costs to Win a War
The victory of the Second World War came with several losses but there was an overall victory. It is the overall victory that really matters. The fact that a great leader will have losses as he strives for
victory is best depicted by the statistics of the Second World War.
Twenty-five million people from the Soviet Union died in the Second World War.
Fifteen million Chinese people died in the Second World War.
Six million Polish people died in the Second World War.
Two million people from British India died.
One million people from Yugoslavia died in the Second World War.
Half a million British troops died in the Second World War.
Half a million American troops died in the Second World War.
Half a million French troops died in the Second World War.
Romanians, Hungarians, Italians, Koreans, Greeks, Latvians, Austrians and even Ethiopians died in the Second World War.
Indeed, Adolf Hitler was crushed in the end and Germany was defeated!
John Wesley’s Losses – Thomas Maxfield
John Wesley founded the Methodist Church. Through his strong leadership, a great movement was released into the earth, but this was not without losses along the way.
John Wesley had many faithful followers but some people broke away. One such painful loss was Thomas Maxfield. He was one of the first ever lay preachers and he worked with John Wesley for over twenty years. When John Wesley corrected him on his extremism with regard to perfectionism, he did not listen or submit to John Wesley’s authority. Thomas Maxfield broke away from the church with about two hundred members.
John Wesley’s Losses – William Fletcher
Another terrible loss came to John Wesley through death of his appointed successor. John Wesley chose a man called William Fletcher. In 1757, Fletcher was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England. In addition to this, he sometimes preached with John Wesley and assisted him with clerical duties in Wesley’s London chapels. John Fletcher believed greatly in the Methodist movement and he was the best choice that John Wesley had. But then he died suddenly and John Wesley was left without a successor.
In spite of all these losses, John Wesley chalked significant advances for the kingdom of God and built the foundation for the Methodist Church. Today, we hardly know about any of the terrible losses that John Wesley experienced as he fought the good fight.
A good leader is fully aware that he may have to take some personal losses but he presses on for the ultimate victory. Personal losses are part of a good leader’s life.
Jesus said, “He who loses his life will gain it and he that saves his life will lose it.”
Expect to have some personal losses as you follow the Lord!