If there's one thing we learn from Ted Haggard it should be that few leaders finish well. Don't assume you'll be one of them.
Bobby Clinton estimates there are about 800 leaders mentioned in the Bible. We have enough information for only about 100 of them to access their leadership. About 50 of these have enough data for evaluation of their finish. Clinton's conclusion? Only about one in three finished well.
Perhaps the results are skewed. Maybe the Bible just focused on leaders who finished poorly as an example to us. Bad news. Clinton has examined around 1300 historical and contemporary case studies. The ratio is less than one in three.
What's different about the leaders who finish well? Maybe everyone was nice to them. Perhaps their church paid them a proper salary and provided a beach house. Was it a stress management course they all did? A special diet? A husband or wife who affirmed them? Did they all read this blog?
Unfortunately none of these showed up in Clinton's research. Here's what he found that leaders who finish well do.
- They maintain a personal vibrant relationship with God right up to the end.
- They maintain a learning posture and can learn from various kinds of sources—life especially.
- They manifest Christ-likeness in character as evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.
- Truth is lived out in their lives so that convictions and promises of God are seen to be real.
- They leave behind one or more ultimate contributions.
- They walk with a growing awareness of a sense of destiny and see some or all of it fulflled.
The classic example in the Old Testament of a good finish is Daniel who manifests all six characteristics. The classic example in the New Testament other than Christ is Paul.
Bobby Clinton: Finishing Well
How about you? What are the odds you'll make it? Better than one in three?
Next: Barriers to finishing well.