As a leader with an incredible testimony of God’s supernatural calling, guidance, and provision, I am regularly asked for advice. “How do I find what God has for me?” “What am I supposed to do now?” “What do I do when my circumstances are against me?” Here are the three straight-shooting nuggets of advice I have learned, and which I find myself giving most frequently to potential, aspiring leaders.
1. Just show up
Showing up is half the battle. If you don’t know where you’re supposed to be, show up somewhere consistently until you do. It’s probably impossible to over-emphasize this point because it’s so primary.
When we don’t know where we are assigned, it could be that God isn’t directing us because we’re not moving forward. It’s also possible that God hasn’t directed us to our place of assignment because we haven’t developed the consistency, reliability, and dependability that is necessary in a leader.
On the other hand, maybe God has given direction. What is the last place that you know God has assigned you? Don’t change course until you know for sure that God has reassigned you.
2. Just don’t quit
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, how many times you fail, or how many times you fall short — just don’t quit! Every leader wants to quit at times, but you will never be proud of doing it. You will never look back on your life and say, “Even though there was incredible potential to turn the world upside-down for Jesus, I sure am glad that I didn’t follow through with that!”
Difficulties are what allows true leaders to emerge; leaders who are worth following and have the determination to get where they are going. The difficulties refine your reasons for leading. When you just won’t quit, God builds a resolve in your character to pursue the vision He gives you at all cost. It refines you from being a leader because the leadership gifting gives you the drive to lead people, into being a leader because you are going somewhere worth going.
3. Just do it
William James once said, “Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.” I think this adage is especially true for aspiring leaders. If you don’t stretch, you don’t grow. I personally believe that the best and most effective use of your time is to focus on your strengths and passions, in both education and in practice. However, you should never restrict yourself from being stretched beyond what you are comfortable with and what you excel at.
Leaders don’t typically get to pick and choose what they would like to do because they are good at it. Leaders do what needs to be done to get where they are going. As an aspiring leader, you must be willing to fail if you will ever succeed on a significant level. Whatever has to be done today, just do it. Those who are responsible enough to do what has to be done today, will be most likely to have opportunity to do what they aspire to tomorrow.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.