Years ago, I was pastoring a church in the city of Orange, and at the time, we were meeting in an old two-story American Legion Hall building. We would bring in chairs on Sunday mornings and set up the auditorium like a sanctuary. Overall, it was a good arrangement, except for the fact that there was a bar right below us. Sometimes a group of guys would be drinking and clinking early in the a.m. hours, so we became accustomed to a bit of noise and riff raff. As the congregation grew, I asked my friend and mentor Dallas Willard to come and speak at a service one Sunday morning. When the day came, we were all eagerly anticipating his sermon on leadership, but as I was about to stand to introduce him, there was a sudden bang so loud that the three of us pastors shot out of our chairs to see what was happening. The congregation did the same thing, with many people panicking and thinking it was a gunshot (especially with the bar below us). Dallas, on the other hand, remained as calm as I imagine Jesus would have been; the disturbance didn’t rattle him at all. Thankfully, nothing bad actually happened, and it turns out the noise was caused by a plywood sign falling onto the old wooden floor of the hall. However, what I will never forget is what I learned that day from my friend about leading by example and being a calm presence.
Friend, a leader is calm and full of peace. In short, they are a presence that others want to be around because they practice what they preach. Like Dallas Willard, I encourage you to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that your walk of faith is palpable and tangible to those around you. When everyone else is panicking, be a person who is confident, with a rooted and grounded trust in Jesus that can’t be shaken. Dwell near to Him and unhurriedly bring His presence to others, and you will see the world change as a result!