The Richmond Christian Leadership Initiative (RCLI) recognizes five characteristics of Christian leadership practices.  In the wake of the deplorable scenes in Charlottesville this past weekend and other injustices that surround us, you may wonder, “What should I do?”  Well when devising your response and next-step actions, check them against these five important characteristics.

I will move forward when my next-step actions . . .

  1. Are shaped by the Word and purpose of God
    Am I using scripture to formulate and test my motives, actions, and plans?  Am I doing so properly?

    • I am not to hate other people; doing so is equated to lying, murdering, and living in darkness (1 John 4:20, 3:15, and 2:11).
    • It is the “practices” of other people that are worthy of hate (Revelation 2:6).
    • I am not protected from being hated by others, as Jesus was hated, too (John 15:18).
  1. Leverage my redemption story
    Do I need to be reminded of the magnitude and grace of my redemption, now, based on my (non)response to recent events (or long-standing injustices)?  Is a redemptive motive at the core of what I plan to do, say, or lead?

    • I am a broken and fallen human vessel (Galatians 5:19-21). Christ gloriously redeemed me (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    • I should pray that this same redemption falls upon the hearts of those who seek to sow hate, drive division, and perpetuate injustice (2 Timothy 2:24-25).
  1. Align with gifting and calling
    Are my gifting and calling reflected in my actions and plans and directed for the benefit of others and the glory of Christ?

    • My spiritual gift(s) can be used to respond to the tragedy of the day, but my application of them should evidence that all such gifts are for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:7).
    • My calling is to advance the cause of and testify to the truth of Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
  1. Are exercised in personal, professional, and public places of service
    Am I adequately distinguishing responses in my different roles and places of service?  Am I overlooking one or more of them?

    • The roles I play in my places of service typically call for distinct responses (1 Corinthians 9:19-22):
      • PERSONAL: My interactions with my children or other family members and close friends (e.g., listening, teaching, reproving, preparing)
      • PROFESSIONAL: My engagement with colleagues, clients, and vendors at work (e.g., listening, facilitating, incorporating needs of the marginalized, leading by example)
      • PUBLIC: The larger community(s) of people with which I share a common place, activity, or geography (e.g., listening, seeking to understand and to be understood, organizing)
    • It is probable my roles and responses will share some overlap and will interact with one another.
  1. Reflect the character of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit
    Have I prayed to identify my next steps?  To confirm them, once identified?  Has a trusted truth-teller in my life reviewed and prayed over these actions, too?
    Am I eager to lead the way, or am I instead seeking how others are responding and discovering if there’s something I can join in on, embrace, and support (without the ego of having to be in front or doing it exactly my way)?

    • Rather than act on what I instinctively think I should do, I invite the Spirit to constrain me until I know what God desires for me to do (Galatians 5:16-17).
    • Like Jesus, I diligently pray to discern God’s will and seek the power of the Spirit to follow through (Romans 8:26-27; Mark 14:36).

RCLI encourages you to apply this Checklist to guide your next-step actions.  If done successfully, your actions will demonstrate God’s love and help bring us closer to the day that our Richmond region clearly reflects God’s heart.

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