• Be a humble leader.
• Chesapeake New
Be a Humble Leader
“John what is the main characteristic of a good Spiritual leader?” Bishop Schol asked.
“Humility!” A good Spiritual leader needs to be humble above all else.
Chesapeake was doing a large project for the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the
United Methodist Church and as part of that work I got to sit with Bishop John Schol for
about an hour each month and we would talk about how things were going and life in
general. Although they were paying us to be there, I would have probably paid for this
Can you be an effective leader and not be humble? I struggled with that because the knee
jerk reaction is “yes” based upon excellent results. Some age and experience have taught
me the value of sustainable results. A good humble leader creates more of the same and
the organization grows to have even greater influence and longer-term results. I am
seeing this with our current church, the Church of the Highlands.
I could probably write another blog or two on what I think young Highlands leaders are
taught however I am going to only discuss what I see as a deliberate effort to pour value
into their young leaders. The growth and influence of the church is something I have not
witnessed, and accomplishments are many. I will mention only one – in only 20 years of
existence, the Church of the Highlands has planted over 1,000 churches all over the
world. I am going to mention one more as we are amid Russia invading Ukraine. Our
church is providing 10,000 meals per day to refuges.
Most of the leaders in the church are under 50 and many are in their 20’s and 30’s. Our
Tuscaloosa campus pastor is something like 35 years old and if there were no other
Highlands campuses in the state, he would be the pastor of the largest church in the state
by nearly a factor of 3. He is as good a pastor that I have experienced, and I have seen a
boatload. I scratch my head and wonder, “How did that happen in such a short time?”
The link between humility and these excellent young leaders is that humble leaders focus
on others and the growth of others. That frame of mind is duplicated so you end up with
an organization that everyone is looking to grow someone else. Many times, I have heard
our senior pastor Chris Hodges say in one of his sermons; “I am not your pastor. You are
the pastor. It is my job to equip you and to help show you the way.”
Humility is intentional. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself
less (I have seen that quote so many times I have no idea who came up with it originally).
Humility is putting other people ahead of yourself and not taking yourself too seriously.
A good sense of humor many times is a good indicator of a humble person.
A constant organizational focus on something greater than “self” is an aid to humility. In
my Highlands example, their focus is the unchurched. Their measurement systems and
their dialogue are concerning that person that enters their facility with zero relationship
As a process and leadership junkie I have loved being involved but also just sitting back
and trying to figure out how it works so well. I cannot understate how important it is to
add value and pour into young leaders. I could go on and on about how Highlands does
this but I will not. If you want more information on that pop me an email and I will tell
you what I know.
At one time most large companies poured a lot of value into young leaders. Some still do
but it is not as prevalent as it once was, in my opinion.
So, what is the takeaway? Here are a few thoughts:
• One of the best ways to enhance your humility is through prayer and fasting.
• Pick a few folks, perhaps some that you would mentor. Add value to them. You
do not have to go out of your way to tell them what you are doing just do it.
• When in doubt engage. You never know how much time you have left on the
planet. You certainly do not want to have any regrets of people you did not
impact because you could not be bothered.
• Be interruptible. I practice with my dog Willow. Sometimes during the
morning when I am in deep study Willow will wander over with one of her
many toys. Instead of carpet – we have the floor covered with dog toys. This
happens at least once per morning. I stop, regardless of what I am of doing and
focus on her. First, it is the right thing to do – her world is Linda and me, and
Linda is going to get up at the crack of noon. The best thing you can give your
dog I your time. So, I just stop and focus. This is good practice for my human
1. Praying from the heart is personal and unmistakable. If we assume there is a right
way or a better way or more eloquent way we tend to stumble into a rut and we
pray the same thing over and over. We get bored. If we get bored, are we really
praying? Craig Groeschel
2. We were built to tear down the walls of racism. Are we going to step up to
change the culture? Anderson Walker
3. To please God, to serve him, to honor him, to live for him, you cannot be driven
by fear. You must be led by faith. Craig Groeschel
4. To err is Human. To forgive is canine. Unknown
5. Faith doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Faith means you don’t let fear stop you.
What you fear the most shows you where you need to grow with God. Craig
6. We were built to change the culture of this city. Anderson Walker
7. If you want to live an unshakable life, you must connect with an unshakable God.
8. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your
country. John F. Kennedy
9. You don’t pay the cost to achieve your goals, you enjoy the journey. You pay the
cost if you don’t achieve that stretch objective. You pay the cost for not
determining how to balance your work requirements and your family/down time.
But, you enjoy the cost that it takes for you to have a productive and fulfilling life.
Captain Donnie Cochran, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
One of the things we are excited about is the formation of the Chesapeake Unity
Foundation (CUF), a non-profit that will deliver our products to those that are not in a
position to pay for it. One of our first gigs with is a re-entry program inside Bibb County
Correctional Facility. We are testing inmates for emotional intelligence when they enter
the program and then again at various phases prior to their graduation. When an inmate
from this program goes to the parole board this will be one more piece of information to
make a good decision. We have already begun this.
Also, through CUF we are planning our next two “Community Unity” events. We are
excited about this.
We have a new website. Please check it out; www.cci.is