GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
It’s great to see you again this morning.
I wanted to revisit a topic we discussed several years ago. Don’t worry, I’ve updated it some.
It’s about Leadership.
What is a leader? Do you know?
Think on this…
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 streetlamps.
Of course, we all know Ben Franklin was and is considered a leader, agreed?
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.
“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 triped 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 screamed, “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 replied, ……. “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…… You’ve probably taken on leadership roles in your life that you didn’t realize at the time. We all are at one time or another, a leader.
Everyone can be a leader. There is no single answer to “What is leadership?” because it isn’t something you’re either born with or without, but a powerful skill that can be developed over time.
Don’t you know that if you have seen leadership qualities in another, then those qualities are in you also.
Leadership is the ability to inspire a team to achieve a certain goal.
A general definition of leadership is to influence, inspire and help others become their best selves, building their skills and achieving goals along the way.
It’s a skill and a tool you can continually cultivate and use to create lasting change. Leadership is also not something you’re born with or without – it’s a creative muscle you can strengthen and develop over time.
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.
Our own Leroy & Dan who started the Men’s group.
LaLa, Michael & Jeanne stepping into the role of Prayer Chaplains.
Dan, Sharon, Laurie, Carolyn & Kevin stepping into our Board and leading our way into the future.
These are just a few examples of leaders.
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 achieve your goals as a team or an organization.
When one person harnesses their powers to lead, it strengthens the leadership opportunities of others, rather than diminishing them. That’s because the ultimate definition of leadership is empowering others to become effective leaders as well. As one person begins to embrace their role as a leader, they inevitably connect with others who have already mastered the art of leadership.
We are using our leadership abilities to grow ourselves and aid each other on our Spiritual Journey.
Great leadership – quality leadership – is servant leadership. Servant leadership refers to someone who wants to influence others to serve the greater good. They don’t just want to get from Point A to Point B, and they’re not searching for an outcome that only benefits themselves; a great leader always has the big picture in mind. They’re searching for ways to not just help themselves, but to help other people and the community at large. They’re figuring out ways to influence their community and culture in such a way that everyone who’s part of it benefits. Serving the greater good is their driving force, also known as their purpose.
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.
This is why we have reached out in many ways to support this community as we travel through the pandemic. We’ve tried several ways to stay connected with you, our immediate community.
This is why we have put in place our safeguards to keep everyone safe who enters the Center. We wanted our space to be welcoming to others, and to help our community spread the word about Unity.
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, among other characteristics.
That is why I ask what are you doing when you walk out the door each Sunday? What are you thinking and saying and doing? Are you putting the Unity Principles into practice?
This is why I ask, are you sharing your gifts? Everyone has gifts but if they are not shared, they are wasted.
Sharing your gifts, being the light why you leave here each Sunday helps to promote 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 and Congregants are asked to further the work of Unity Spiritual Center of Coastal Delaware 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, as well as other times in meditation, classes and fun times—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.
I hope to see even more of you stepping into your leadership places inside this Center and out.
God has something wonderful to say through you, which God can only say as you. The cosmos can never be quite complete without you.” — Eric Butterworth