“Everybody wants to do something to help, but nobody wants to be the first.” ~ Pearl Bailey
Leaders go first. That just comes with being a leader. It’s risky, it’s uncertain but somebody has to step up and that’s what leaders do. In the Old Testament there is a wonderful account of God needing someone to step up and be His spokesperson to the nation of Israel at a very difficult time in their history. Isaiah heard the call and seized the opportunity to step up and go first.
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 NLT)
When willingness meets opportunity, great things can happen. However, it’s seldom easy. Going first means you are blazing the trail into unknown territory. The reward is the fulfillment of breaking through and seeing God do His work through you. Isaiah’s was proclaiming a message of hope about the coming Messiah. Lives were changed because Isaiah stepped up.
What opportunities do you have in your life and leadership today? God has uniquely positioned you as a person of influence within your family, your organization and your community. Imagine Him saying to you: “We have this great opportunity, who do you think I could get to step up a lead?” Don’t be like the room full of high school students who avoid eye contact when the teacher asks a question like this. Step up, go first, say “here am I, send me.”
Know this, it won’t be easy. If it were easy, someone else would have already done it. It takes a lot of courage and faith to say “here I am, send me”…especially when you are not very sure about what you are signing up for. As a leader, always be preparing your inner circle of team members for times like this. They will be your advisors, your support system and your helpers. You can’t do it alone; you may go first but you’ll need others to be close behind on the journey with you.
Leaders see sooner and further than others. Leaders have a vision of what’s possible in the future. Not everyone thinks this way. As a Christian leader, God will often stir the vision in your heart before He reveals the opportunity. When the opportunity is presented, your heart has already been prepared to pursue it. Your passion will already be ignited and you will be drawn to the cause. Always be ready to go first when the assignment matches your passion.
Take time today to first look inside. What passions and interests has God stirred in your heart? Now, look for opportunities that align with that passion to use your gifts, talents and resources to make a difference that matters in the lives of others. Be willing to go first!