In the following nine blog posts, we will attempt to articulate “nine elements of a leadership reproduction culture.” For more explanation, see our first post here. Feedback and questions are more than welcome!
By Vivian Mabuni
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6.
What we do in Epic, and why we do it, is distinct because of faith. The object of our faith – Jesus Christ – is the source and sustainer of everything.
Faith shapes and informs who we are, and our impact on others and future generations. Our leadership, as followers of Christ, is spiritual leadership. Spiritual leadership is about living and leading out of faith, in response to God’s calling on us. It is about engaging others in ways that draw their eyes beyond this world to see and respond to Jesus and what is true in Him. This is lived out in all of life, not just in devotional times or other structured times to lead spiritually.
The many heroes of faith in the Bible (Hebrews 11), of various genders and backgrounds, put their lives into God’s hands, and trusted Him for things greater than themselves. We learn from their examples that faith is not just cognitive in nature – it requires response and action. Taking action in faith grows our intimacy and first-hand knowledge of who God is. We come to know God, not just know about Him.
We also learn that faith is not spiritual positivity or optimism. Many of these men and women encountered severe challenges, and at times struggled to see what the future would hold. Their faith meant living in the reality that this world was not their home, and that there was a bigger story of which they were a part – a story in which Jesus is at the center. As Christians, faith means living for the unseen, not just surviving or enduring. We draw hope and courage from those who have gone before us, from God’s promises, and from our own past experiences of His faithfulness.
But we must also remember that we are part of a story that continues into future generations of leaders. As we live and lead in faith, embracing the mission God has called us to – along with all of its responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities – we sow faith into the next generation. But if our lives are characterized by passivity, victim attitudes, entitlement, or self-reliance among other things, we will reproduce and influence those things in others.
Faith is acknowledging God in all our ways, trusting the purposes and plans He is accomplishing in and through us. It is about having eyes to see something where there is nothing – in people, in mission, and in the challenges of life. As we walk by faith, take steps of faith, share our faith, and multiply our faith, we become a movement characterized by believing God for changed lives and a changed world.
Let us model to coming generations what it looks like to live out our lives “having an ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” (2 Corin. 5:9) God promises that He rewards those who seek Him. And we find in the end the greatest reward is God Himself.
- The post implies that faith can sometimes be treated as cognitive. How might you have seen this lived out in your context?
- The post states that faith is not positivity, or a “spiritualizing” that avoids or minimizes reality. What do you think is the difference between people who are always positive, and people who have great faith?
- What might undermine our faith, or hinder us from living lives of true faith?