the shape of leadership

Leading With Sincerity

In a world of counterfeits, people are looking for something real

Chris Railey on January 4, 2019


There is a lot of insincerity in today’s American culture — a great deal of pretense, rhetoric, opportunism, competing agendas and shifting loyalties. In an insincere world, sincerity becomes a powerful force for forming genuine relationships, building trust and making progress. Sincerity cuts through the noise and connects with the heart.

Sincerity is rare, and when it’s present, people take notice and respond to it. It stands out against a backdrop of fake news, Photoshop images and political double-talk. Most people can tell when you look them in the eye whether you’re fully invested in what you’re saying. Sincerity feels different.

Sincerity characterized the Early Church, according to Luke’s description in Acts 2:42-47. He writes, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (verses 46-47).

Sincerity stands out against a backdrop of fake news, Photoshop images and political double-talk.

As leaders with a vision or a dream from God, we desire the kind of favor and growth the Early Church experienced. Apparently, sincerity with one another and in their purpose contributed to the Church’s progress. It was counter-cultural even then, and it helped make the gospel they preached attractive and appealing to outsiders.

We could use more sincerity in the Church today. According to Luke, sincerity was born out of the following:

1. Regularity. They met together daily. There was a rhythm of life and a routine they shared that deepened their love and affection for one another, as well as their commitment to the gospel.

2. Proximity. They ate together, learned together, gave together, shared everything with one another, and prayed together. The proximity they shared intensified the impact of their sincerity.

3. Thankfulness. There was a joy and an overflow of praise that came from a genuine thankfulness for Jesus and what they shared in Him. It was absent of pretense and ambition. It was real, and it was compelling.

People are hungry for authenticity, honesty, transparency and sincerity. We see too much of the other stuff every day. As you look at the year ahead, consider how you can lead with greater sincerity in your congregation and community.

Allow sincerity to characterize the culture of your church. Cut through the noise, and focus on the things and the people who matter most. Take every opportunity to point to eternal truth.  

Adapted from the January/February 2019 edition of Influence magazine.

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