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Leadership Lessons from Abram

By Leneita Fix July 10, 2014

Do you recall the story in Genesis 12 in which Abram (who would later become Abraham) is called by the Lord? God appears and tells him, “Leave here and go to the place I take you.” In my head, I envision Abram packing up all of his belongings and family, then wandering around the desert until the Lord simply shouts, “STOP!”

In my misguided interpretation of the story, I miss some things about Abram:

  • Humility. Even at age 75, he was willing to admit he needed a change.
  • Faithfulness. He packed up everything and followed the Lord, trusting God’s lead.
  • Integrity. Abram struggled with this one from time to time, but he was always willing to refocus on the Lord and his plan.
  • Vision. We are told in verse 5 that they set out for the land of Canaan. Unlike what I envisioned, Abram knew exactly where he was headed. But he still had to trust that God would get him there and that “there” was somewhere worth going.

The ministry leader veterans I respect most have these same qualities. I admire those who can strategize and plan, but those who exemplify the heart of a servant leader are the ones I want to follow and emulate.

Eventually, Abram would become Abraham. In this moment he came to truly understand the depth of his life’s calling. And that calling is inspirational. My mentors taught me more than a simple set of leadership qualities. They taught me to lead by asking these questions:

  1. What is the vision God has given you? We must learn, like Abram, to answer this question for our families, our ministries, and our own lives.
  1. Will you dictate or lead? Dictators sit at a distance shouting commands and demands. Leaders get down on their hands and knees with their followers, guiding them toward the Lord’s vision.
  1. Have you shared where you are going? Where does the vision take you? Have you shared the final destination with your traveling companions—constantly? Where is the Promised Land for your ministry?

As I ponder the most vital leadership lessons I’ve learned, my head is filled with the faces of pastors, mentors, and ministry leaders I’ve known. Those who stand out the most reflected an unwavering love for the Lord. My heart is most open to those whose eyes were fixed on who God is. Abram had that kind of faith. To obey God, he was willing to sacrifice his future, his lineage, his son. And the Lord rewarded his faith with all of those things and more.

About the Author

Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix co-founded Frontline Urban Resources with Jeffrey Wallace  to equip, coach, and speak into the lives of those working with families living in a “survival mode” mentality. They refer to this thinking as the “new urban.” Combined, they carry almost four decades of experience in the family ministry setting, most of it in traditional urban ministry. However each…  Read More