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I am a leader.

My first and foremost priority is to do what is right. I have an obligation to my God and to those whom I lead to do the right things first. I cannot put my own career or my own future before those decisions that are clearly God’s plan.

I am a leader.

Those who serve under my leadership are people—real people with real lives. They are not numbers or means to an end. Thus, I will thus treat them with dignity. I will seek to do what is best for them and the place I lead. I will care for them with compassion. I will pray for them regularly. And when I have to make a tough decision that impacts one or more of them, I will do so with care, conviction, and compassion.

I am a leader.

God has placed me in leadership for His purposes and His will. I will treat my leadership as an invaluable stewardship, which He gave me for a season. I will not take it lightly, but seriously, treating it with utmost care. God gave me this position for only a brief while. I will see every day as an opportunity to be the best steward I can be.

I am a leader.

I will lead with clarity and conviction. Those who serve under my leadership need to know the direction we are moving. They need to know why. They do not need embellished or sugar-coated discourses. They have a right; they deserve to know about this place I lead. They are as much a part of it as I am.

I am a leader.

I will seek to be a better leader every day. I will be open to constructive criticism and suggestions for realignment. I will never think I have all the answers or necessarily the best answers. I will acknowledge my fallibility and failures. I will seek to be transparent and open. I will take responsibility for my actions and missteps. I will be accountable to those whom God has placed over my authority. I will grasp fully every day that—in God’s strength—I can do better and do more for this place I lead.

I am a leader.

Good leadership requires courage. Because it does, I will pray that God gives me His wisdom and courage every day. I will make the tough decisions, even if they are not popular decisions. I will seek always to be aware that, ultimately, I should please Him and follow His will.

I am a leader.

I will embrace the awareness that God did not trust me with this responsibility to "lord it over" others. To the contrary, God called me to serve those I lead. He called me, not to a life of pride, but one of humility. Indeed, I must never forget the leadership of the One who gave His life for me. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even to death on a cross.

I am a leader.

The greatest goal I can have is to lead like Jesus. I will never be close to His example, but I can always seek to move closer. Those whom serve under me deserve that kind of leadership. Indeed, the only true measure of my success as a leader is that I lead like that.

Then, and only then, can I say with confidence, "I have not led in vain."


Thomas Rainer is the president and CEO LifeWay Christian Resources. He is also a former pastor, seminary dean, and leader of a church and denominational consulting firm. Rainer is the author or co-author of nearly two dozen books.



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Thom Rainer

Latest posts by Thom Rainer
Thom Rainer
Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. He is also a former pastor, seminary dean, and leader of a church and denominational consulting firm. Rainer is the author or co-author of 24 books, including his upcoming release, “Autopsy of a Deceased Church + 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive.”
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