by Caitlin Meadows

There are essentials to every recipe that lay the foundation for the dish. While some ingredients can easily be substituted, these essential ingredients cannot be replaced and should not be left out.

Case in point:

The first time my husband Adam and I hung out, I decided I wanted to impress him with my delicious chocolate chip cookies. We were at my brother’s house and it was a spontaneous idea so I didn’t give myself time to go to the store first. Confidently I got going with the recipe from memory. Eggs? Check. Sugar and brown sugar? Check and check. Butter, baking soda? Two more checks. I knew they had chocolate chips. What was I missing? Oh, yes. Flour. I got to that part of the recipe—one of the essentials—and couldn’t find flour anywhere in their cupboards. I asked, and to my dismay, they were out.

At this point, I was committed (not to mention flustered). Pressing on, I threw in some oatmeal as an experiment. After all, how bad could it be? Pretty bad. To sum it up, I did not impress Adam with my baking ability that day. Thankfully, he eventually asked me to marry him anyway. To this day, I let him do all the chocolate chip cookie baking in our home. The man has skills!

The lesson here is, if you leave out an essential ingredient to a recipe you won’t end up with the dish you want.

As followers of Jesus re-created by Him to live in relationship with the Father, reflect the image of God, and grow His Kingdom through our everyday leadership, it’s important to read the leadership recipe. We need to know which ingredients are essentials. Once we know what ingredients we need, we can prayerfully submit to and seek the Lord for provision. His provision of these essential ingredients doesn’t look like a shopping trip to your local spiritual grocery store. Rather, it looks like intentional surrender and abiding in our ultimate Leader, Jesus Christ. Through His Spirit, He will supernaturally enable each of us to develop these essentials and influence our circles for His Kingdom.

Essentials of Vibrant Leadership

In Artios Christian College’s introductory course, Essentials of Vibrant Leadership (LEA111) students explore the necessary ingredients for everyday Christian leadership.

LEA111 students are assigned several leadership books to read and must complete two term papers. In one paper, they choose one of the essential leadership qualities to explain and apply to their own lives. The other paper is a review of one of the assigned books, Andy Stanley’s Next Generation Leader.

To offer our readers an inside look at Artios Christian College, Lead Up is launching a series featuring these student papers.

We hope that you will enjoy this inside look and personally consider which essential leadership ingredients you possess and still need to cultivate.

Take my advice: don’t settle for the spiritual equivalent of flourless cookies.