By Network Chi Alpha Director/Presbyter, Pastor Sara Good
May 1st, 2019
I recently was reading about this 95-year-old man who ran 20+ miles over a mountain. 95 YEARS OLD!!! Over 20 miles! A mountain! Did they attribute this accomplishment to his great physical shape? They did not. Was it attributed to a strict diet and a consistent training regimen? It wasn’t that either. What it all boiled down to was this: it is said that he did this simply because no one ever told him he couldn’t. He lived up to his own expectations for himself.
Expectation can be a powerful place to lead from or it can be a limiting factor in our leadership and in the lives of those we lead. When I did my masters studies in Education, I found a lot of research that focused on this concept of “expectations”. Studies show that when teachers took students of low academic achievement and taught having low expectations for these students, the students remained at low levels of achievement. However, when teachers took students of low academic achievement and taught having great expectation of achievement, and also infused high expectation into the hearts of the students, guess what happened? These students believed the sky was the limit and they undeniably excelled in learning.
I believe we are created to be people of high expectation. We read of prophecies in the Bible about the intentions of our God, giving us great expectations of the things to come. As we think of Jesus’ life, we no doubt see a life of high expectation — not just for how the Father was radically changing the world through Him, but Jesus displayed the highest level of expectation for His followers. When He sent them out, He breathed His spirit on them, and made declarations such as, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and you will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12). Sounds like high expectations to me.
What type of expectations do we have for those who we are leading? For those under our care? More and more I am seeing a generation who has no idea that they have a God who believes in them. They don’t understand that they have a Creator who purposed them for exceedingly abundantly more than they can imagine. They are desperate for someone to call great things out of them and help diamonds in the rough become incredibly precious stones radiating the light of God’s Kingdom.
As leaders, we ought to live in the absolute highest place of expectation, and it is imperative that we call others to do the same. Will we call generations to be a people who believe that God is who He says He is? Do we ourselves have high expectations for the promises of God? What if you and I are personally leading out of a place of mediocrity because we have yet to expect greater things for the way God wants to work in and through us? Does the heart of God drive our expectations for those whom we lead? What if some of those whom we are leading are living lives of mediocrity instead of greatness simply because we have yet to expect greater things from them? Let us align our expectations with the expectations that reside in the heart of God for our own leadership and for the lives of those we lead. Let us be leaders of the highest expectations because we are leaders who lead by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).