What words come to mind when you think of a leader? Strong, bold, courageous? As I write this article, my heart is full of joy as I reflect on the life and legacy of Bishop Phillip M. Davis, senior pastor of Nations Ford Community Church of Charlotte, NC. Davis’ recent passing is a deep loss to a host of family, friends, church members, and community leaders that knew and loved him dearly. Yet, in the midst of sorrow, we rejoice when we think about the qualities of a Godly leader that he exemplified on a daily basis.
1) A leader is humble.
Have you ever met someone who was a “know-it-all?” True leaders don’t need to boast about their accomplishments or achievements. They are committed to their work and trust in the Lord to promote them at the proper time. Davis, a humble servant, taught the Word of God with passion, knowing that the Lord gave him power to fulfill his life purpose.
Whether we’re working in the board room or tending to a baby, we can work with our whole hearts, knowing that God will be glorified through our sincere efforts.
The Word of God says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6).
2) A leader is helpful.
A Godly leader works enthusiastically with his hands. Jesus said “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all,” (Mark 9:35). From hosting The Reconciled Church summit, to founding The Male Leadership Academy of Charlotte, Davis not only taught the Word of God, but lived it. In our own lives, we can follow the same leadership pattern by getting involved in the lives of others. We must discover our passion and use it to solve a need or problem in our society.
3) A leader is holy.
Godly leaders know who they are, and whose they are.
Do you know that you are royalty? According to 1 Peter 2:8-10, we are chosen by God to “proclaim His praises.” Despite his feelings, Davis remained committed to his ministry and calling. He unashamedly spoke about the injustices of society and spoke the truth, regardless of popular opinion. As we develop as leaders, we must vocalize what the Word of God says, even though others may not agree. In this way, we’ll stand as light in a dark world that needs to know Jesus.
4) A leader is authentic.
Godly leaders are focused on pleasing God, rather than impressing man.
Bishop Davis preached the Word of God in an authentic and genuine way. He spoke in such a way that listeners could relate to his message, whether 7 or 70 years old. Wherever God is calling us to lead, we can tailor our work and message to meet the needs of the people we’re seeking to reach. Micah 6:8 says, ”…don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously,” (Micah 6:8 MSG).
We have the confidence to lead, not because we have it all together, but because God is the one who empowers us for His use.
5) A leader is grateful.
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever,” (Psalm 118:1). A Godly leader never forgets to reflect on where he comes from. Has the Lord answered a prayer in your life? Are you better now than where you were several years ago? Has God opened new doors for you and closed doors that hindered your progress? Godly leaders take the time to say “thank you” for all that the Lord has done for us.
6) A leader is resourceful.
Godly leaders aren’t always experts in their field, but they surround themselves with people who are. “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers,” (Proverbs 11:14, NLT). We can grow our leadership skills by nurturing and developing others who can join us in fulfilling God’s mission for our lives. Great leaders never go at it alone.
Leaving a legacy and becoming a Godly leader takes courage, determination, and conviction. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can obtain all that God destined for us to become.
Thank you Bishop Davis for your leadership and legacy. As you’ve said, “we love you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Take the time to thank and bless the leaders in your life that have and continue to make a difference.