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CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING LEADERS (Part 3): NUTRITION

3 May

To live we need to feed. That is a fact. We must satisfy our hunger and thirst to do couple of things and, at least, get energy to go about our usual day-to-day activities. There’s nothing wrong with that.

A bird-lover bought a beautiful parrot in a cage. After some weeks he returned to the birds’ shop attendant to tell him the bird hadn’t made a sound. The attendant suggested that he should “buy the parrot a swing.” “Parrots love swings,” he said. The parrot owner did exactly that. He bought a small swing and placed it in the parrot’s cage on getting home.

Still the parrot didn’t speak. And you know what his next action was… rushed to the store, bought the parrot a mirror; but nothing had happened the next week too. That went on week after week – as he bought the parrot one item after the other… yet nothing happened!

One cold morning the man was at the birds’ store as usual, but this time, earlier than any other day. The attendant asked, “Any improvement yet?”
“The parrot is dead,” he replied.
“Did it utter a word before its death?”
“No, it didn’t…” replied the man. “Except for asking: ‘is there any place down the street where one can get food?'”

Most of us, like the bird-lover, are more engulfed in the concern for our physical gratification, but sadly ignore “food for our soul”. Too often, our dreams and visions are starved to death. If you desire to be a well-fed living leader, you’ll need to . . .

1. Abide In and With “The Vine”
The Master talked about the vine tree. He said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches.” The vine tree is so special a plant that the whole nutrients the branches get is supplied solely by the vine trunk itself. The branches cannot tap minerals and salt water directly from the soil – like every other plant. Staying attached with the Vine Himself means being a true disciple, obedient to all the Master’s commands. That’s the key to productivity. The Master won’t see being unproductive as fun and is ready to discard any branch that produces no fruit. The key to abiding with the Vine is to remain productive.

2. Feed on God’s Word
About 7 years ago Dr. Myles Munroe came over with his wife, Ruth Munroe, to speak at a leadership congress here in Nigeria. When Mrs. Munroe was up on her feet to introduce herself to the audience, she said, “It’s the truth of God’s Word we know that will make us the leaders God wants us to be.”

Feeding on God’s Word energizes you to go about the daily spiritual activities (like the physical food does for physical activities). To lead God’s people, you have to be empowered by the Holy Spirit that will “bring to your rememberance all things.” Be sure to study the Scriptures, taking a close look at it, “line upon line, precept upon precept.” Study the Bible on purpose. It is able to make you wise.

3. Feed Others
Some people have no difficulty with being committed to following Christ and feeding on His Words, getting themselves energized. But they barely share those Words with other people. They rarely pour their life into others as Christ did unto them.

Christ doesn’t want you to remain a getter all the time. He will be glad if you become a giver instead. In fact, that’s the perfect reason He’s poured life into you: to pour into others too.

In Christ is abundance. He gives you more than you can exhaust. The more you feed on His Word, the more knowledgeable you’ll become – both of things pertaining to life and those of the spirit. If you feed balanced diet, you’ll ‘grow’ taller, stronger and bigger (not prideful, but more humble) in Him.

What defines the leader is to provide food for his flocks: the followers. Be glad to teach to the people you’re influencing what you have learnt. Tell them to go for the meal too. Give them the nutritional benefits of the food (The Scripture), believing it’s no junk! Get their own side of the story. Why? “What works for you may not work for somebody else.” That’s right, but spiritual principles don’t obey that theory! The purpose of asking them for their part of the story is to help them with areas that are shady to them. Ensure you give them simple and sincere clarification in all areas of doubt. Be willing to go out of your way to help others with what they find difficult to understand. Don’t shun any questions, attempt supplying the best answers you can come up with; they’ll stretch you, but will equally help you grow and increase your reasoning capacity. Make everyone you encounter better than they’d met you.

Remain attached, keep feeding, don’t stop growing others, and you can’t cease to live.

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