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An effective leader should be ready to successfully integrate the areas of Christian spirituality and human development into a positive Christian leadership style. Person’s Christian spiritual development also human development will impact life and vocation of a leader, hence leaders should have a clear understanding on how these areas will affect life and vocational direction of a Christian leader. Billy Graham, a famous Christian leader had endorsed all aspects of theological development, spiritual development, and human development that have lead to greatly influencing his vocational life.
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Through the theological development, he went through a progressive revelation. That is, he moved from a more primitive understanding of some theological truth to a more advanced understanding. Through his developed strong human personalities saw him leading the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, association which demanded a tremendous amount of time and decision making. He also had spiritual development that enabled him to overcome all the criticism and the temptation faced in his leadership vocation. These aspects that lead to the influence of the vocation and the life of Graham can be discussed as follows:
Billy Graham’s leadership lifetime has indeed been paradoxical in blending humility with fierce intensity of purpose. Through his contradictory blend there have come remarkable results. His personality could not be predicted even by his grade school teachers since in the classroom he would hardly open his mouth in front of the student because he was terribly shy and timid. But with the team work and other leaders and of broad Christian movements that has continually built moment and created such impact in improving the leadership of Graham.
Moral and Spiritual development
As a teenager, Graham was an ever-present smiling and also had a charismatic personality which opened lots of doors to him. His immersion in the kiln of leadership formation began with a painful experience with a beautiful young woman, whom he requested for a hand in marriage. Billy got devastated and saw that all the star have fallen out of his sky when the woman Emily Cavanaugh gave him back the ring stating he was not the right choice. Billy felt tremendously burdened and he roomed the streets for hours at night praying for direction. He was not grieving a romantic breakup but confronting many realities. He had a indistinguishable sense that God was calling him to preach.
Over and over throughout his life, he faced conflicting realities of many sorts and would lay them before God with extreme sincerity, spending many entire nights on his knees or flat on his face in prayer, and seeking the right course of action. One evening Billy declared to God that if he will never to get Emily, he will follow God and no girl or anything else will come in his life again, “you can have all of me from now on, I’m gonna follow you at all cost”. “It is not revolution and upheavals that clear the way to new and better days but…someone’s soul, inspiration and ablaze” once said by Russian poet Boris Pasternak. Billy’s soul was indeed ablaze that made him to successfully undergo the leadership transformation to become the most famous Christian leaders today.
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Billy rose to the larger-than-life challenges. He never flinched from the furnace of the leadership transformation but he let its intense heat extrude him into an extraordinary leader. With his team, as he was a team leader he laid the foundation for decades of international ministry, which made him look unique from young men of that period. Other factors that critically lifted his trajectory leadership and kept him from stumbling are; his careful formation of a core team that resulted in the phenomenon of their serving together all their life, he united the team; determined that they would not be tripped up by the many temptation of men on the road and they built in commitments to make their intentions stick. Instinctively Billy lased in on the mission, despite countless other opportunities he had.
The leader’s attitude towards the team largely determines how strong it will become. Billy Graham’s team became strong as Billy nourished it and gave each member a liberal opportunity to exercise significant responsibility. Billy saw how spiritual enthusiasm does not make one immune to greed, lust, pride, and ambition. But spiritual passion and more earthly passion often possess the same soul. When Billy was shaping his leadership principles and commitments he faced many temptations but intelligently overwhelmed them. This is a great development that should be practiced by people under leadership transformation. (Shelley 2006)
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