Fox News – “Atlanta Fire Chief: I was fired because of my Christian faith”
Chief Cochran, photo from Fox News
That headline did not shock me. This is only a glimpse of what’s to come for American Christians; it will get worse before it gets better, you can bet on that. The details of this story are still emerging, and it may drag out for months and maybe years if the chief pursues a wrongful termination case. I am not sure I would want to work for an employer who treated me like that, but I would want the true story to be told. So I encourage the chief to fight the good fight wherever it leads him, all the while, finding encouragement in the fact that God is sovereign and He directs our paths and the paths of government leaders (whether they acknowledge it or not). God will be glorified.
The war is not against religion, we see that clearly by the headlines. The war is against Christianity. The followers of the newest religion, “political correctness,” see any Biblical truth claim as an attack. Christians should arm themselves with an apologetic that engages the world and furthers the Gospel. If I was asked, “Jason, is homosexuality wrong?” I would have to respond with the question, “Is anything wrong?” Let’s start there.
Will I be ready when the fight comes to my front door? Romans 8:31 comes to mind, “…if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Leadership and personal character are directly connected. You must be honest with yourself; are you a person of character? Before seeking to develop leadership skills you must first examine your own life. Am I trustworthy? Have I demonstrated the skills necessary to be a leader?
These are hard questions to answer but your personal character is foundational to your leadership style. One of my favorite pastors and speakers is Dr. Harry Reeder. In his audio series on Biblical Manhood, Dr. Reeder offers five character traits that leaders must possess and they are 1. dependability, 2. integrity, 3. moral purity, 4. civility and 5. humility. These character traits make you someone people can trust. You cannot just start being these things; these traits must be a part of who you are. They must be visible in your lifestyle. How do you earn the reputation for being dependable? You demonstrate it. Dependability fosters a relationship of trust, and it takes time for people to learn to trust you as a leader because we live in a fallen world and trust is difficult.
I state in Mutual Aid Leadership that leadership and character are connected. I am convinced we can teach a person the best leadership principles and use all the modern terms and it will not make a difference unless they are grounded in a life of good character. We must talk about good character traits if we want to produce effective leaders. One of my favorite speakers, Dr. Harry Reeder, lists five character traits he thinks are required for good leaders, and I like to talk about these during the seminar. They are: dependability, integrity, moral purity, civility and humility. I agree with him; these traits are indispensable. Good leaders exhibit these traits in everything they do whether at work, at play or at home.