Leaders are flexible!

BY: Dag Heward-Mills
library photos
library photos

Dear leader, be flexible because rigidity is costly! Apostle Paul was flexible! He became weak and acted like a weak person so that he could save people who were weak in faith. He became all things to all men so that he could minister the gospel.

How come you are so stiff, unchangeable and rigid?

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To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 1 Corinthians 9:22

A tree cannot bend when it is old. When you’ve been in church for a long time you can be rigid. It takes grace to know you’re rigid. Every church that has been there for some time becomes stiff.

A church member who has been in the same church for many years can also become stiff. This is why God is always raising new people to do His work – people who will be flexible in His hands and do His will. God has new ways of doing the old jobs.


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A true leader exhibits flexibility. Being flexible does not mean that you compromise in things you believe in. Paul said that he became all things to all men so that he might save them all. Are you prepared to do anything to achieve good results? 

There are times that you may have to vary your dressing to flow with the people around. You are not always right, you know!
In certain cultures, people are not punctual. When you say the programme starts at six o’clock, they will leave their homes at six and be there for seven.

If you are very rigid with your timing, you may end up preaching to empty chairs and closing your service as the majority of people walk in.

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Paul, the Apostle

A pastor must be flexible with ignorant baby sheep. Sometimes, sheep will ask you to counsel them about things you have just preached about.

The message is very clear but they still want you to talk to them. There are times you have to be flexible and accommodate these sheep.

Flexibility and manoeuvrability are important for success. All huge organisations are in danger of becoming so stiff that they cannot change and move around.

Without manoeuvrability, you lose the ability to quickly respond to the ever-changing scenes of life. Do you know that nothing is ever going to remain the same? What allowed for success five years ago is not likely to work in the same way today.

Examples of Flexibility

Reversing your former decisions.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and I’m no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:18-20

The prodigal son reversed all his former decisions and humbly returned to his proper place. That is what I call a spiritual ‘U’-turn. A spiritual ‘U’-turn is a manoeuvre in which you reverse and go back on decisions you have made earlier.

If you are not flexible enough to make ‘U’-turns, you are not capable of repenting from your mistakes.

Amending your former practices.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Luke 19:8.

Zacchaeus turned away from corruption and swindling people. A ‘U’-turn is true repentance. We all make many mistakes and when you realise that you have made a mistake, you must be able to make a U-turn.

I came to realise the importance of those things and that is why I made a U-turn.

After our church began, I realised I had made a mistake in the way our church started. I made a U-turn and went back to apologise. 

How old are you? How is it that you cannot say sorry for what you have done? How come you are inflexible and unchangeable? Your inflexibility can cost you your life! Make yourself malleable and flexible in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

There are many things I said I would not do that I do today. I said I did not need a secretary but today I have several secretaries.

I said my assistant would be an evangelist whilst I would be a pastor. But I made a U-turn when I realised the Lord wanted me to have crusades.

If I did not practise spiritual U-turns, I would not have begun Healing Jesus Crusades. I said I would drive certain cars when I became 50 years old, because no one would criticise me then.

When I was 25 years old, I thought a 50-year-old man was a very old man. But when I became 50 years old I refused to own any such car. I realised that I had underestimated how quickly I would become 50 years old.

Try new things

A leader tries new things. Be open to methods that you did not invent. Listen to young people who have fresh ideas.

Do not rigidly think that God only speaks through a grey-haired 60-year-old prophet. Flexibility will allow you to receive from a 20-year-old anointed youth.

Are you a leader? Then you must be flexible and open to new ideas. Be flexible because rigidity is costly and very dangerous.
Rigidity is defined as being hardened in a bad way. As we grow older, our blood vessels get stiffer.

In other words, the pipes become stiffer and inflexible.

This is what increases the blood pressure. Strokes occur when the blood bursts through stiffened and inflexible blood vessels at a high pressure. Becoming stiff and inflexible is to develop into a dangerous and life-threatening state.

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