What is a leader? Do you know?
When Benjamin Franklin wanted to introduce street lighting to the people of colonial Philadelphia, he did not lobby politicians,
he did not publish editorials,
he did not argue with those who disagreed with him.
Instead, …he simply hung a brilliant lantern on a long bracket in front of his own house.
Every evening, as dusk approached, …. he faithfully lit the wick.
People out in the dark night could see Franklin’s streetlight from blocks away and were grateful to walk in its friendly glow.
Soon Franklin’s neighbors started putting lanterns on brackets in front of their own homes,
and it wasn’t long before the entire city was illuminated each night with street lamps.
Of course, we all know Ben Franklin was and is considered a leader.
A minister was standing at the back of the Church greeting people as they were leaving one morning.
“Good morning” she said to a little boy who was waiting in line to see her.
“I’ve been waiting to tell you something that happened to me,” he said.
“Wonderful,” she said.
“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a bunny rabbit.
I always wished I were furry and free to hop and run all over.
I wished and I wished
but I finally gave up
because I saw that I was never going to get my wish and become a rabbit.
Then, ….. last week a miracle happened.”
“Really,” she chuckled imagining that he had received a special pet rabbit.
“Yes,” he said with his eyes wide in wonder.
“After all this time of wishing, …..one night I had a dream,
and in my dream, ……I was a bunny rabbit and I felt what it was like to be furry and free …… and run and hop and play.
I had a wonderful time and I got my wish.”
“That’s wonderful,” she agreed.
“But that’s not all,” he said excitedly.
“During my dream, …..God showed me how wonderful it is to be a bunny rabbit
and when I woke up
I realized that the feelings that I wanted to feel in being a bunny rabbit are already inside me.
SO, I’VE BEEN CARRYING WHAT I WANTED WITH ME ALL ALONG.”
His eyes were wide with recognition and hers were filled with tears of appreciation at his newly found inner splendor.
“Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with me,” she managed to get out.
“I just thought you’d like to know,” he said as he smiled and walked off with his mom into the crowd.
Is this little boy a leader?
A man and his son were taking a walk in the forest.
Suddenly his son trips and feeling a sharp pain he screams, “Ahhhh!”
Surprised, he hears a voice coming from the mountain, “Ahhhhh!”
Filled with curiosity, he screams, “Who are you?
But the only answer he receives is “Who are you?”
This makes him angry, so he screams, “You are a coward!”
and the voice answers, “You are a coward!”
He looks at his father, asking, “Dad, what is going on?”
“Son”, …….the man replies, …….“Pay attention!”
Then he screams, ……“I admire you!
The voice answers,….. “I admire you!”
The father shouts,….. “You are wonderful!”
And the voice answers,….. “You are wonderful!”
The boy is surprised, but still can’t understand what is going on.
Then the father explains,
“People call this an ‘echo’ but truly it is ‘life!’
It gives you back that which you CHOOSE to put in it.
It is simply a reflection of who we are.”
Is this father a leader?
Are you a leader?
Sure you are……
we all are at one time or another.
Don’t you know
that if you have seen leadership qualities in another,
then those qualities are in you also.
What have you done with that leadership ability?
That is the question.
The word “leadership” can bring to mind a variety of images as we just have shown. Here are a few more:
• A political leader,…. pursuing a passionate, personal cause.
• An explorer,…cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow.
• An executive, …..developing her company’s strategy to beat the competition.
Leaders help themselves………. and others………. to do the right things.
They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization.
This is why we held a visioning last year
and why we moved here
and why we asked Carol to use her ability and knowledge of Feng Shui
so our space would be welcoming to others,
to help our community spread the word about Unity.
We are using our leadership abilities to grow ourselves and aid each other on our Spiritual Journey.
Spiritual leadership involves motivating and inspiring community through faith in a vision of service to key stakeholders…….you.
The purpose of spiritual leadership
is to tap into the fundamental needs of both leaders and followers
for spiritual well-being through conveying that life has meaning and makes a difference
and through membership (belonging);
to create vision and value across the congregation;
ultimately, to foster higher levels of well-being, commitment, and social responsibility.
While spiritual leadership involves many of the same principles as general leadership, spiritual leadership has certain distinctive qualities that must be understood and practiced if spiritual leaders are to be successful.
Leaders share their gift of leadership by sharing courageous ideas in compelling and inspiring ways.
They demonstrate integrity,……. intelligence,…… creativity,……
enthusiasm…… and humility.
That is why I ask what are you doing when you walk out the door? What are you thinking and saying and doing? Are you putting the Unity Principles into practice?
Doing so promotes your leadership ability.
So you can see that your participation in the leadership of this Community,
in whatever way………is important.
Everyone has the responsibility of leadership.
Our Members are asked to further the work of Unity of Rehoboth Beach through active interest, love and support, including but not limited to regular attendance at services and programs, financial support and ongoing volunteer services.
Jesus is our example of spiritual leadership. He led the 12, teaching them through lessons and parables, and his example. And gave us a perfect guide for our lives. He showed us that we journey better when we journey with others.
It’s much more difficult to achieve connection to God if we try to do it alone. When we come together—as we in Unity do each Sunday—we find it easier to see the Christ expressing as each other than it is to see it in ourselves. And seeing it in each other becomes an easier path to recognizing it in ourselves.
We help ourselves and each other by sharing our gifts and experiences, by service to Unity and the larger community.
It was Jane Goodell who reminded us,
“You cannot get through a single day ….. without having an impact on the world around you.
What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
We develop our leadership by letting our inner light shine
and letting it ripple out into the world.
This is our first step in leading a change, …….a change in ourselves as leaders.
Use your God-given gifts ……. and lead where they take you.