Arise & Lead

Sharon Tedford in Leading Hearts magazine

We’re equipped and we are ready We’re the people of God We’re anointed, we are willing To respond to His call We will stand up and move!

“Arise” lyrics ©Sharon Tedford

We need a trustworthy navigator to follow. The moment we realize our need for a leader is the moment we can begin making forward progress and stop going around in circles. I understood my lack of such a guide back when I was 14 years old. Jesus became my lifelong leader, and I have continued to follow Him intentionally.

I can also name a handful of family, friends and teachers who have acted as leaders for me through life’s different seasons. They have shown me the roadmap on many occasions and helped direct me to the best destination.

At other times, some of the leaders I have followed didn’t even know that they were influencing me. The YouTube sermons, the churches visited on holiday, the conversations overheard in the local coffee shop (come on, you’ve done that, too) all have played a part in leading me on to where I am today.

Inevitably, I have been a leader at times, too. My husband and I have not only raised but also led our three children. Sometimes, we see exactly the person we are mentoring, but now and then, we are unaware someone is watching from the sidelines.

What about the people who work alongside me? How have I guided them? Have I led them to believe that Jesus is faithful? Have I helped them to recognize a God who is kind and present? Have I directed them to see their need for a Leader for themselves?

As I reflect on my influence in other people’s lives and the responsibility to lead well, I am mindful of Christ’s example. Jesus was the servant leader. He led, not to claim power for himself, but to empower others to experience joy and walk in freedom.

In Matthew 20:25-28, Jesus shares this leadership perspective:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (ESV).

It’s no good for us to look to our church, ministry and homegroup leaders as the only ones leading in the kingdom of God. No, God is inviting you to lead, too. He’s summoning you to rise and be a servant. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

Often, kingdom truths feel upside down from our usual perspective. Yet, God is uttering a rallying cry to His Church, and it’s time to join in.

For too long, we who are the Church have allowed those in positions of authority to be solely responsible for leadership. We’ve let them do all the work, and that’s not how we should be operating.

It’s time for each one of us who has heard the kind, loving, saving voice of Jesus to arise. We hold the truth in our hands and on our tongues. Let’s share it. Our Heavenly Father embraces us with love, hope and truth. We need to envelop others with the same.

We encounter the peace of the Holy Spirit, and His power fills us. Now is the time to enfold others with that peace and strength to create a ripple effect for God’s glory.

Will you follow the call? Will you join me in rising up to be encouraged, empowered and advancing in your purpose? If you submit to Jesus, He will pour out everything you need to serve Him. Never let anything meant for the glory of God sit unused in your heart.

Stand with your sisters in Christ and ARISE.


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