Transforming Leaders

(Originally written, April 2004)

Humility (Deuteronomy 8:2)

I have been working as a business leader in the distribution industry for over 30 years.  Currently I am involved in a medical distribution business.  During the last six years, I have also been active in a small manufacturing firm.  For over thirty years our family has used real estate as an investment vehicle.  These businesses are very different but the principles are much the same.  As a follower of Jesus Christ in the marketplace, I am involved in the transformation business.  My personal vision is “transforming the world through Christ…one company leader at a time.”  We are all to be in the transformation business; that is to be our bottom line.  As leaders we must continually focus on leaders.  Transformed leaders change families, companies, institutions, cities, and nations.  They become agents of divine change.  If we help leaders become transformed by the living Christ, then they spark change in the society around them.  This change occurs when God mixes the factors of His Word, His Spirit, His children, and the divine circumstances of daily life.

We understand, of course, that leaders which have not been personally changed by the living God can be change agents for evil.  In I Kings 21 we see King Ahab, Queen Jezebel, and a landowner named Naboth.  Naboth was falsely accused because the “elders and leaders” of the city followed evil leadership and became part of a plot of deception, murder, and stealing.  Throughout history such leaders have lacked integrity and courage, and they are plentiful in our businesses, governments, and cities today.

Deuteronomy 8:2 shares with us four characteristics of the kind of leader for which God is looking.  These characteristics are humility, proven character (tested and tried), a heart for God, and obedience to God’s commands.  Courageous leaders such as Nathan, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, and John the Baptist exhibited these characteristics, as did Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Mary, Isaiah, and innumerable others.  God is looking for men and women who will not sell out for money, pleasure, or power.  The world will only be transformed as leaders are changed by the Holy Spirit when they surrender their will to God’s will.

My daily professional life is about leaders…is about companies…is about transformation…is about the power of the risen Christ being shown in and through the leader to those around them.  I have found in my experience that this process cannot take place without the Word of God (solid Biblical teaching), the accountability of peers (small groups), a vital daily relationship with Christ, and a life of prayer and humble dependence upon Him.  Christ is at work in and through us as leaders in order to use each of us as one tool to transform the society.  As Paul writes in Colossians 1:27 “Christ lives in you!”

The mission is fairly simple.  The vision is clear.  The difficulty is in surrendering our will to His will and keeping focused on the objective.  As we seek Him (Matthew 6:33) and delight ourselves in Him (Psalms 37:5), He empowers us to be transformed and see that same transformation in others.  As our peers and younger leaders in our business, industry, community, and nation, see us being transformed through the difficulties of our workplace circumstances, they are drawn to Christ.  Whatever business that we are in is only a tool for God to use in our life to impact our sphere of influence for Him.  By operating our business by biblical principles and by providing excellent service to our customers, we become a unique transformation agent in our marketplace.  I am continuing to be on the look out for that leader that God wants me to encourage to be transformed by Him.  Are we in the transformation business or not?

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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