Leading as Sons and Daughters
by Wendy Mann
God spoke to me years ago about focussing on being His daughter above any other title as I pursued His calling over my life. I remember moaning to Him about my position in the church and being confused about where I fit as a woman. When I asked God what title I should be aiming for, He clearly spoke to me about my daughterhood. God told me to concentrate wholeheartedly on being His daughter and that He would take care of everything else.
As I have tried to pursue my daughterhood, God has been true to His promise. He has opened up opportunities to me beyond what I could have hoped or dreamed of, and He continues to do so. As I have looked to prioritise being a daughter in my leadership it has become clear to me why God is so passionate about us knowing our identity above every other title. What’s inside us flows out of us to impact the people around us. When we lead out of insecurity we cannot bring the best out of the people we influence. Secure sons and daughters, however, know the joy of empowering those they develop. Their aim is to see the people around them outrun and overtake them. This is the kind of leadership that Jesus models.
I have learnt so much over my years of leadership about the many benefits of leading as a daughter. Many of the lessons have come through mistakes I’ve made, when I have let insecurity and orphan thinking spill out of me onto those I’m investing in. There is still so much to learn and I still get things wrong and have to apologise to those I’m championing. Yet, bit by bit, I am discovering the joy of empowering the people around me to be everything God has called them to be. What have I learnt? Below are just a few of the key lessons.
1) Secure sons and daughters lead without a mask: When we show people who we really are as leaders – the struggles we have and the dreams we live with – we give those we lead permission to do the same. Hierarchy gets demolished and we all get to journey with God together.
2) Secure sons and daughters give courage with their words: When we know who we are, we understand the power of our words to put courage into the people we lead. Our security in God means we’re not threatened by others’ success, which means we can find joy in championing them to overtake us.
3) Secure sons and daughters give responsibility and space: When we know who we are, we are happy to delegate responsibility to others without micro-managing their performance. We understand that those we’re investing in need to take risks and make their own mistakes in order to grow (just like we did when we first started leading).
How are you doing at pursuing your sonship or daughterhood above every other title? We are sons and daughters before we are leaders, or pastors, or elders or managers. When we make it our priority to know God as our Father and enjoy the truth of our identity as dearly loved children, what’s inside us flows out of us to impact those around us. When we lead as secure sons and daughters we are happy to go low in order to lift up those we have the privilege of investing in. Leaders like this have the potential to change the world!
[The above is just a snapshot of the key lessons I have learnt and am still learning in my leadership. If you want to know more, look out for my new book ‘Leading as Sons and Daughters: Discover the Joy of Empowering Others’]