The New Testament book of James has 3 key words of advice for leaders. In the New Testament there are several men who carry the name James. Many believe that the writer of this epistle is either James, the apostle or James, the brother of Jesus.
Many believe that the writer of this book is James the brother of Jesus due to the fact that James, the apostle was killed by Herod in A.D. 44. This took place before this epistle was written.
James, the brother of Jesus, emerged as a strong leader of the early church. When James wrote his epistle he was attempting to give good leadership advice to the growing church.
His leadership became quite impressive through several events in the early church. Peter reported to James after the miracle of his escape from Herod’s prison (Acts 12:17) James was the leader over the first Jerusalem Council. (Acts 15:13-21) Paul consulted James during his first mission trip (Gal. 1:19) and it was to James that Paul brought a collection of money to help the poor. (Acts 21:17-25)
With all his involvement as a leader James has some great advice for leaders. In his epistle chapter 1 verses 19-22 he gives this guidance for leadership:
1. Lead with you ears.
2. Follow up with your tongue.
3. Leave anger far behind.
These three keys to leadership can help anyone. More listening and less talking will enable all leaders to become a stronger influence. Listen! Listen a lot! Be sure the things you say are being directed by considerable thinking. Hearing should always come before speaking.
If speaking takes place before a willingness to hear never forget these words of James:
“…..the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:5-6)
Whoever you have been called to lead, start by leading with your ear first? Don’t let your tongue get ahead of you! This is great advice from James.