“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
— Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch
It has been said that passion is the oxygen of the soul. Well if that is true, then passionate leadership is the lifeblood of any successful institution or organization. There is nothing more perplexing and discouraging than an organization that lacks zeal and excitement about the purpose for which they exist. Conversely, there is nothing more attractive than an organization where everyone exudes passion about the mission of the institution and actively carry it out with enthusiasm. This spirit of passionate deployment in the life of the institution is typically correlated with the passion of the leadership team. Collectively, we WIN through passionate leadership!
The Book of Nehemiah presents an excellent example of the positive effects of passionate leadership. The story of Nehemiah begins with many of the Jews having returned from Babylonian captivity. God had been faithful to His promise to return them to Jerusalem but the city was still a far cry from its former glory. A group of returning Jews had rebuilt the temple 12 years prior to Nehemiah’s involvement but the walls of the city had not been rebuilt leaving Jerusalem vulnerable to enemy raiders. When word of the condition of Jerusalem and its inhabitants came to Nehemiah, who was still serving as the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, he was greatly burdened to see the walls of the city of Jerusalem rebuilt. Through Divine Providence he received permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem from the King of Persia and set out to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding effort.
Aside from having the Good Hand of the Lord upon the rebuilding effort, Nehemiah was very passionate about the rebuilding project. He longed to see the walls of the city rebuilt and his people restored. He passionately set about to do the work functioning collaboratively with the men of the city and inspired them to stay focused on the work even when enemies tried to dissuade them. So passionate was Nehemiah that when conveying the particulars of the project and what it would entail, the men responded enthusiastically “‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work” (Nehemiah 2:18). What should have taken far longer to rebuild was completed in 52 days due to Nehemiah’s strategic and passionate leadership as graced by the Lord.
Passionate leadership engenders passionate followers who will joyfully bring their collective skills together to ensure that things are successful. You will experience greater wins and greater gains when you engage the work in a way that is passionate versus despondent. As a pastor of a multi-site church I can preach as many as five services on Sunday morning. From a physical place there may be times when I simply don’t feel like doing anything, but when I walk into the room where the team who serves with me is waiting for me, I allow the passion that I have for ministry and the grace of God to flow through me and I enthusiastically say to them “Alright, let’s go to work!”. Team members who may have been tired as well are inspired and encouraged by my passion and through the grace of God we are able to minister effectively!
We Win Through Passionate Leadership
Passion is a contagious virtue that when utilized properly can be catalytic to the success of any organization. You’ll reach higher, go further, and enjoy the ride more when you pair passion with the work! Whatever you do, do it with drive and passion!
Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.
General Overseer – Pastors Division