The Most Impressive or The Most Leaders?

My family has been in Brazil for the past eight days attending a conference of youth leaders from all over the nation. Hearing their stories, observing the worship, and building relationships here has been a blast.

One main thing that struck me was the humility of many of the people in the room – many of them leaders of thousands.

Just two examples of this:

  • The senior pastor of the host church, Pastor Paul Mazoni of Igreja Batista Central, attended as many meetings as he could, but never got onstage until he was asked. He preferred to empower his many men and women leaders to lead the event for him. Rather than being a stagehog (like a ballhog, but with stages), he realized he’d be more effective if he raised leaders.
  • One of the senior pastors of a church gave a powerful testimony – out of 25,000 people in their town, 5,000 attend his church. 20% of the town goes to his church! (That’s like having a church of 6.8 million in all of Metro Manila!) After a short video where local government officials said how thankful they were for his church, Pastor Cesinha got up onstage, thanked God and his leaders, and said, “It’s easy to raise pastors in our church. The young people look at me and say, ‘If that guy can do it, then I can too.'” Clearly, he was more concerned with the mission than his own image.


Couldn't resist gifing it for the guy in the back
Pastor Cesinha from Laranjeiras do Sul and me

That’s the paradox of leadership. If you try to be impressive, you will actually impress some people. But with hard work, humility, and no regard for self, you’ll accomplish much more.

  • Great leaders will empower others. Leaders who want to be impressive will hog the stage.
  • Great leaders will deliberately share and avoid the spotlight. Leaders who want to be impressive will make sure they get air time.
  • Great leaders will downplay themselves so others can follow after. Leaders who want to be impressive will build up their credentials.
  • Great leaders will be happy to see others rise to their level and surpass it. Leaders who want to be impressive will take pride in being the only one of their kind.

Leaders who want to be impressive will get the most recognition. Great leaders will have the most leaders. And that’s really impressive.

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