Anyone Can Be a Leader - Learn How!
Steve was born in New York. His dad gambled and both parents were alcoholics. When he was 9, his family moved to Australia for a “new” start. Unfortunately, Steve’s parents continued to struggle with alcoholism. Steve began drinking when he was 13, and by 15 he was dabbling in drugs like marijuana and speed. At 17, Steve was brought to church, dressed in his shabbiest clothes and drunk, by a friend. After the 3-hour service, Steve sobered up and responded to the altar call. Steve began to seek God and went to Bible College. Steve was ordained as a minister at the age of 20, working full-time in the ministry as a youth pastor at the age of 21. His youth group grew from 18 to 300 under his leadership. At the age of 26, Steve became the Associate Pastor at the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, where he helped develop an effective pastoral team that supported the growth in their church from 2,500 members to over 7,500. Today, Steve and his wife Sharon pastor a vibrant and growing community called Wave Church in Virginia Beach.
THE ACCENT OF LEADERSHIP
Steve does not believe that everyone is called to be a leader in the sense of everyone being a pastor or business owner. However, he does believe that every Christian is called to lead a life of example and cause others to want what they have. He learned early on that there are distinguishing values that are cornerstones of good leadership.
Steve spent most of his life in Australia and developed an Australian accent at a young age. When he moved back to the United States his accent distinguished him and pointed to where he is from. He realized that the spiritual accent that we speak with also points to what we believe. He says, “The leaders of God’s kingdom speak with a noticeable accent. They use words of life, and they speak with one voice.” Steve reveals hallmarks of having the accent of leadership: honor, vision, favor, the Holy Spirit, destiny connection through your leader, servanthood, excellence, good report, and the will of God.
Steve believes that the most important hallmarks are having a good report and wearing the restraints of vision. He believes that leadership is mostly about perceptions. It’s about leading people’s thinking and thoughts. Steve says, “You get one life. That life is created by your speech, and your thoughts create your speech. Think on good things. Seeking and speaking the best about your situation will only improve your situation. Life is a mirror; what you project is reflected back by society. Develop the habit of giving a good report. In this way, you will improve the world around you, your life will bear fruit, and you will honor God by wearing Him well.” Steve also believes that wearing the restraints of vision is very important. Steve teaches that it is essential to align ourselves under leaders to fulfill a larger vision because of what Proverbs 29:18a says, “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint. If a leader does not cast vision or a follower does not come underneath a larger vision there is a lack of restraint. Steve says, “A compelling vision ignores the voices of those who say it can’t be done. A compelling vision will provide the necessary restraints for the fulfillment of that vision. The restraints of the vision are necessary, for they give us the boundaries of self-discipline and the pathway to achievement. The restraints of the vision will always include submission to the big picture. Without a vision, the people cast off restraint. With the right vision, the world is won.” Steve believes that how we align ourselves underneath coaches, business owners, and church leaders often determines how far we go in those arenas.
Steve also notes the importance of the hallmarks of honor and how destiny is connected through your leader. Steve says, “Honor is, in part, properly respecting a leader–not based on their title or position but on their character and leadership. Honor reduces the possibilities of a follower becoming overly familiar with his leader; however, the leader is responsible for establishing proper boundaries. When we fail to honor others, we lose regard for God’s leaders. Honor is tangible; it is “weighty.” When we give honor, we give weight to our leader’s words.” Throughout the years Steve has learned that it is important to be vulnerable with the people he is leading but to not become too overly familiar to them or respect can be lost. Essentially, he encourages people to be the same person in the pulpit that they are out of the pulpit. Steve says, “In life, it’s not always what you do that counts, but who you do it with. God has ordained relationships for every person to fulfill his or her destiny by staying connected to the right leader. Often, it is the words of the leader alone that will sustain you. Yet people often abandon a God-ordained relationship prematurely because they get offended by leadership style. Burden does not necessitate timing. The manner of your last exit determines your next entrance. Honor leadership and see your destiny fulfilled.” He likens the relationship to a flower planted in soil. If that plant is removed from the soil, it will soon die, but if it remains it will blossom. Such is the relationship of a leader in our lives.