At Work

Three Questions Every Leader Should Answer Daily

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There isn’t a formula for success in leadership, but there is a paradigm to align your leadership work with God’s direction. Answer these three questions daily:

  1. Who is Jesus?
  2. What will I do about that?
  3. Where is my faith?

Daily prayerful mediation on these three questions consistently puts you in a place where God can transform you, guide you, and renew you. You can then, in turn, lead others.

Question #1: Who Is Jesus?

Many people will acknowledge Jesus as a historical moral teacher or an especially good man. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis famously pointed out the foolishness of this position:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg–or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.

James reminds us that even the demons believe in Jesus as God: “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19, ESV)

Renew in your mind and heart that Jesus is uniquely Lord of Lords, King of Kings, completely sovereign, with all power (Matthew 11:27).

He sits at the right hand of the Father (Luke 22:69), interceding for you (Romans 8:34) and will return to make all things new (Matthew 24:27-30).

He is not a dead historical curiosity but your Master, Lord, Savior, Teacher, and friend (John 15:15).

Question #2: What Will I Do about That?

The clarity of who Jesus is requires a response. When people heard Peter’s explanation of the events in Jerusalem on Pentecost they did not say, “Oh, cool factoid. See you later.” They correctly recognized that they needed to do something:

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:36-38, ESV)

This gospel message is not just about initial acceptance of Jesus as savior. We must live out of the gospel daily in our leadership work.

Asking “What will I do about that?” opens us up for exploring long-term goals and today’s opportunities. Jesus is Jesus–therefore my actions flow from my identity with Jesus. Recognizing Jesus as my Master, Lord, Savior, Teacher, and friend affects both the what and how of my to-do lists.

Question #3: Where Is My Faith?

Leaders encounter storms and conflicts, just as the disciples did on the Sea of Galilee:

One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:22-25, ESV, emphasis added)

The waves and wind still know Jesus’s name. Put your faith with him.

The Bible has a lot to say about idolatry because idols are the cotton-candy alternative to life-sustaining faith in God. Answering the question “Where is my faith?” helps us recognize where we are trusting in idols–especially the idols of recognition, fame, money, earthly authority and power, and entitlement. These idols are ever-present hazards for leaders.

Try this for seven days. Each morning, answer these three questions:

  1. Who is Jesus?
  2. What will I do about that?
  3. Where is my faith?

It’s a simple practice with life-transforming and leadership-guarding potential.

Editor’s Note: On “Flashback Friday,” we publish some of IFWE’s former posts that are worth revisiting. This post was first published on Jan. 19, 2016.

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