We’re entering the final days to the election of the president of the United States. What a rollercoaster ride this has been!
I just realized that the next time we have these national elections, in 2020, I will have handed the baton off to the next Foursquare leader. It’s hard to believe that we have just over three years remaining of my being in this role of serving our Foursquare family as president.
It has been the most rewarding and the most challenging position in ministry that I have served. I’ve stood before tens of thousands of Foursquare leaders and members in Africa and South America. I’ve met with national boards around the world.
I’ve visited our largest and smallest churches here in the U.S. I’ve been privileged to engage in conversations with some of the most influential Christian leaders of the body of Christ, here and abroad. I’ve been in more meetings than I could possibly remember. And, through it all, Debbie and I have witnessed a grace that supersedes anything we could have generated.
I’m so grateful for the uniqueness of our movement, and the incredible depth of character and competency that I see everywhere. I’ve been privileged to rejoice with people in great victories and to weep with those experiencing great loss. I’ve weathered the criticism of a job that earns it, regardless of how you lead. Most of the time, I’ve been content with the decisions we’ve made; and, at times, regretted and repented of others.
This role tests everything in your wheelhouse. It stretches you emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. It demands a deeper walk with the Lord than I’ve ever needed. Debbie and I have been fortunate to have had constant prayer support.
What mildly surprised me was the cascading effect of the U.S. Foursquare Church on the rest of the global Foursquare family. There is much interest in how we are doing and what we are doing. We are still honored as the spiritual parents of the global Foursquare family.
It is both humbling and concerning, knowing that our every move is noted and evaluated. As our friend Leslie Keegel, says, “Things flow from the head and trickle down.” My prayer is that our Foursquare presidential transition will model something that will signal health and vibrancy to our global friends.
I want to share 10 lessons that are incredibly important to any leader who steps into a role that carries such enormous responsibility and authority. Then, I would like to conclude with a few prayer points heading into our U.S. national elections. Any leader who allows their name to stand for selection to a higher office should:
- Lead with humility, transparency, wisdom and courage.
- Be willing to acknowledge when they have failed and take personal responsibility.
- Leave their assignment in better condition than they found it.
- Surround themselves with godly counsel.
- Care more about the condition of the people they serve than their own personal aspirations.
- Be as enthusiastic about handing the baton to the next leader as they were about taking it.
- Be generous about giving God and others credit and praise.
- Love their enemies and make unity one of their highest goals.
- Honor those who went before them and acknowledge their contributions.
- Check their ego at the door, keep their motives pure, and honor God in their private world, family life and in their work.
Please pray for several things for our nation as we look toward the future. Pray that:
- The Lord’s will be done in this critical election.
- God’s kingdom will come and be established throughout the earth.
- Our nation will find its way back to the God of Abraham, and that we would put Him first, above all other things.
- America will repent for every evil work, and turn our hearts back toward a loving and kind heavenly Father.
- A fresh wind and anointing of the Holy Spirit will flow through our cities, our churches and our homes.
- His church will get back on His mission of discipling the nations.
- We will “provoke” one another to good works.
- We will be extraordinarily sensitive to those around us in great need.
- Our hearts will break for the things that break His heart.
- Our voices will be lifted up in worship and prayer, continuously seeking His face.
As I said earlier, the world cares about what happens here in this land. America sends more missionaries around the world than any other country. Also, we are now receiving more missionaries here than any other nation. I totally believe that God’s hand is at work in the midst of all of the chaos we see. We look for the invisible, not just the visible.
In light of the current focus in our nation on the election and the many news stories surrounding this time, I am also sharing with you two links that were brought to my attention by General Supervisor Tammy Dunahoo: (1) Ann Voskamp’s blog; and (2) Carey Nieuwhof’s blog.
These encouraging blogs were each written by Canadians who are seeing our election process unfolding from a distance. They have hope for America and believe that our nation has been used mightily in the past and will be used again in the future. Please feel free to share these links with others, as desired.
I close with the words to one of my favorite songs, written by Irving Berlin in 1918: “God Bless America.”
God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with a light from above
From the mountains, to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home