Strategies of Life-Giving Leaders
by Julia Mateer
I had recently given birth to our third baby; a sweet, precious baby girl. After two rambunctious boys, we were more than delighted to have some pink around our house. Like all new mothers, I was exhausted. I spent little time fixing my hair, wearing makeup or wearing anything other than sweats or jeans. The focus of my life was caring for my three little ones. It was during this backdrop that I developed one of the most meaningful friendships I’ve ever experienced.
Have you ever had someone come into your life at just the right time and you knew this person was a direct gift from God? Linda was one such gift. I don’t remember much about the first time we met. I just remember how she made me feel. Whenever she saw me, she would greet me with a big hug and say, “There’s that beautiful, talented Julia Mateer!” Now, as I mentioned above, I was in a season of life when being attractive was not a priority and in terms of being talented . . . well, let’s just say my talents consisted of wrangling two wild boys from getting into things that were off limits. Nevertheless, that’s how she would greet me. Eventually, Linda began to call and ask how my day was going. We started meeting every two weeks for lunch, and during our lunches she asked me about my life and my dreams. She listened as I shared my struggles, and she prayed for me. Linda saw potential in me. She made me feel important, valued and confident.
Believing in a woman and helping her to develop her potential is one of the greatest opportunities for a life-giving leader. We have a valuable strategy at our disposal to help us cultivate the potential within the women we lead and to help them unlock their God-given dreams. The most POWERFUL leadership tool we have is our words. James 3:6 says, “. . . and (the tongue) sets on fire the course of life . . .” The very existence of one’s life is set into motion by words.
A life-giving leader knows the importance of setting a guard over her mouth and watching the door of her lips (Psalm 141:3). Words that do not shine the light of Christ increase the darkness. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Instead of a culture of criticalness and negativity, a life-giving leader creates a culture of blessing with her words. Make your words life-giving, full of mercy and grace. Just like Linda who took an opportunity to pour into me, we have a powerful opportunity as life-giving leaders to create an atmosphere of blessing with our words in our homes, businesses and in our churches.
Julia Mateer is a writer, therapist and Director of Small Groups of Bayside Community Church. Parts of this article are from Julia’s book, Life-Giving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading, published by Leafwood Publishers. You can connect with Julia at www.generationeve.com.
Excerpts from Life-Giving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading by Julia Mateer, Leafwood Publishers.
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