As I’ve grown up in leadership and as I’ve grown into increased responsibilities, I’ve learned that leadership from God’s standpoint is not a part-time activity. Leadership requires living a continuous and “real” lifestyle that others can follow, whether “leading” a specific activity or not.

A godly leader can’t just talk about how to do things; instead, he or she needs to walk it out. That means setting a positive example and “guarding the gates” of life— the eye gate (including what movies I watch and what I read), the ear gate (including what music I listen to and who I talk to), and the mouth gate (what I say). I realize it is very important to stand firm in my beliefs, moral standards, and convictions, even when it’s tough, because I never want to cause anyone to stumble or fall.

One thing my family has taught me about mission-minded leadership is that a “big” aspect of leadership is being “small” enough to be a servant. As a leader, it’s not that we’re “more important”; we’re simply willing to sacrifice our time, energy, and emotions to concern ourselves with others. We must look beyond our own needs to help make a difference in the lives of others. We need to put other people’s needs ahead of our own and keep the best interests of others in mind. As a leader, it’s not that we’re “above” other people; but we need to live “above the norm,” with a higher standard— which often simply means working harder, being willing to be different, and not being afraid to walk alone.

So how do you reach God’s destiny for your family? Practically speaking, it’s as simple as the sport of archery. Point A is the tip of the arrow (where you are today). Point B is the center of the bull’s-eye (where God wants you to go and what He wants you to do). God is the Archer, and our part is simply to allow Him to aim us— on a straight line— toward His purpose.

As individuals, and as a family unit, we allow God to use the gifts He has given us to fulfill His plans for our lives. We realize that each child is God’s special arrow; therefore, as parents we help to keep each one polished, aligned, and aimed toward his or her destiny. As mission-minded families, we train and prepare “on target” with God’s plans.

Walking to the target, the archer gives a faint smile. He pauses to admire how fine his arrow looks in the center of that red circle. Finally, he gives a slight tug, polishes his arrow, and then places it back in his quiver. Today’s shot was only practice; but someday, when it’s time for a real battle, he knows this arrow will hit its mark.

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