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I said this in part one, but it bears repeating: Whether you like it or not, you are a role model for your people. It may not seem fair and your people are ultimately responsible for themselves, but the shepherd is also responsible for the flock.

You are not asked to be superhuman or even close to perfect, but you are required to make daily decisions that inspire others to a better way of living.

In this particular article, I want to present you with several practical principles which I believe will help bring this idea of modeling your leadership into your daily life.

  • Bring order to your private world.
    When we talk of modeling, it seems like an external display because we talk in terms of what others observe about your life. The truth is that modeling is an inside job.

    How you live the life that others see is determined completely by the life you live that no one sees. How you handle your thought life, your motives, and your temptations has everything to do with how well you model life for others.
  • Determine a distinctive set of values and demonstrate them in daily life.
    There is no such thing as a default value. Either you choose your own values and live by them or someone else will choose them for you.

    There are plenty of people who are happy to do so—billions of dollars are invested each year in advertising with the intent of communicating a certain set of values in a very appealing way.

    Know what you believe, why you believe it, and live it out in an intentional way.
  • Live by the same set of rules and standards.
    As leaders, one of the most dangerous things we can do is to live above the law. By that I mean that you have one set of rules and standards for others but don't follow them yourself.

    I remember one pastor in a church I consulted with who expected his staff and lay leaders to stick within the budget, but he had no intention of remaining within any budget. We had a great and eye-opening conversation about being a good model.
  • Roll up your sleeves, get involved and show the way.
    You can neither lead nor model from an ivory tower. You may not do all the tasks that those you lead must perform, but they must see you "in the game."

    A couple of Sundays ago, I observed Miles Welch, one of our pastors, joining in on the umbrella action. It was raining hard as church got out, and to make matters worse, our parking lot is torn up (and muddy) because we are under construction.

    Miles could have easily let his team do their job while he remained dry, but instead he chose to model a servant spirit by grabbing an umbrella and helping walk people to their cars.

    Set The Standard
    That's the kind of model leadership which needs to be displayed these days. So I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what kind of model you are. Then act on it and be an excellent example to others!

    This article is used by permission from
    Dr. Dan Reiland's free monthly e-newsletter
    The Pastor's Coach available at
  • Author Biography

    Dan Reiland
    Web site: 12 Stone Church
    Dan Reiland is Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY.

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