Exploration expeditions often hire the services of a guide or scout to go ahead and clear the way. In movies, scouts are often colorful or eccentric characters responsible for leading the way and making sure the path ahead is clear, especially of potential enemies and dangerous beasts. Leaders, in a way, are like expedition scouts. Besides casting vision, leaders are responsible for making clear the path ahead for the rest of the team.

Leadership is Clarity

This whole reflection started when I read a post by my friend, David Spell. David is a missionary, writer, and blogger who states something we all know, but deserves deeper thinking:

Leaders provide clarity.

People are willing to follow someone who knows where they are going and have figured out the path to get there. Here are six ways in which biblical leaders – spiritual, servant, transformational leaders– act like scouts by providing clarity for followers in the pursuit of their God-given vision:

Clear Vision: Spiritual

Spiritual leaders give clarity by having a clear vision, which comes from:

1. Intimacy with God. A deep, personal relationship with God will allow leaders to discern God's calling and vision for their lives.

2. Attentive Ears. God is not silent. His voice points the way to clarity, but it is the leader’s responsibility to listen. We must have spiritual ears tuned and attentive to hear when God speaks through prayer, the Word, wise counsel, and circumstances.

Clear Focus: Service

Servant Leaders provide clarity through maintaining clear focus by:

3. Having a Christlike Attitude. God is our model. True, selfless, and servant leadership is only possible if we have the same attitude as Christ (Phil. 2:5-10).

4. Understanding the “Who and How.” We are called to serve others, but the most effective leaders give specific emphasis to serving those in their God-given vision. Focused servant leaders clearly identify the specific people their team is called to serve and how to best serve them.

Clear Purpose: Transformation

Transformational leaders are agents of meaningful change and need clarity in two areas:

5. Perspective. Transformational leaders understand their environment and the current situation.

6. Decision. Transformation is not merely change for change’s sake. Biblical transformational leaders discern what changes are meaningful and worth fighting for.

Action Question

God has given you vision. That part is clear. Now, in what ways are you making the vision and the way clear for others?

by Norival Trindade