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President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference contributes to a new series

Leadership is perhaps the most commonly written about subject on planet earth, and yet it is likely the least understood and most difficult skill to master. What’s more, the vast majority of leadership literature is framed in purely secular terms, which not only starves the soul, but also robs future leaders of the greatest example of leadership the world has ever known—Jesus Christ himself.

As Christians, Christ commands us to follow his example, but he also promises to send us an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to help us on our way. Therefore, visionary leaders must be both practical and prophetic.

In other words, they must be able to pragmatically work within the realm of reality, maximizing the resources and personnel at hand, but they must also be able to see beyond present circumstances, to a place and destination that others often cannot.

In this way, visionary leaders are both horizontal and vertical. They are able to build up the people and platforms around them (horizontal)—often making them even better than themselves—while demonstrating the attributes of Christ and building the Kingdom of God (vertical) at the same time.

If Christ is our perfect example of visionary leadership, we must turn to Scripture in order to discover the attributes of his leadership.

1. Visionary leaders are authentic.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

If you are going to lead and influence others in powerful, healthy, and life-giving ways, you must be full of light, not walking in darkness. In other words, you must live your life authentically.

The way you are in public must be …

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