Brandon Staley could not have said it better than this in regards to Raider Coach Jon Gruden’s toxic emails and subsequent resignation .

I have been an imperfect leader/pastor most of my life and I have always treasured the trust people have given me. I’d like to think I have lived up to that trust, most of the time. If you are a leader/coach/pastor of any kind, run from anything that would sully the trust people have put in you because your ability to lead is based on that trust.

Leadership is a privilege not a right. You’re not entitled to lead, you lead because people trust you and that trust is earned every day.

Live, by example, the things you espouse no matter how imperfectly. Any attitude that diminishes another person because of their race, gender or sexual orientation must go because you have been called to lead whomever God has put in your charge. If you have been taking your leadership and influence lightly, or treating it with contempt, repent.

Leadership is, according to John Maxwell, is influence. If you’re a leader, you will influence others for good or for ill. Being an “influencer”, in today’s terms, means having the ability to sway opinion or sell goods or services. This is such a base definition.

Influence does not have to be loud, it can be reserved or quiet. You don’t need Twitch channel, a microphone or a title to be an influencer, you need character. Think of family members, teachers or bosses you’ve had who have influenced who you are and what you do. I bet the greatest lessons you learned from them, not a word was spoken. You observed them being a person of character and said, “I want that in my life” and were influenced by it.

How you live in the real world, and online, consistently, amplifies the message of who you are at your core.

I think of the influence I have as a father, a friend, a minister, a writer, a coach and it scares me some days. There are things I could say or do that would crush people who have given me their trust and because of that weight, I mute and censor myself. I keep proverbs like Proverbs 10:19 NLT in my arsenal against

“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

My freedom is tempered by the responsibilities I have to God and to others to live right for the sake of Christ.

Other verses that keep me from going off the rails, this warning from Christ

It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:2

And the words of the Apostle Paul

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4

Don’t throw away the privilege of making an impact on the lives of others for a moment to be right, or snarky or critical.

Tim Tebow recently shared a great quote, on First Take, in regards to his former coach Urban Meyer’s recent indiscretion,

Thats the thing about a reputation, it takes a lifetime to

build and moment to lose.

– Tim Tebow

Just the other day I heard a co-worker, who I think is a practicing pagan, talk about the time he spent in church and Sunday school and watched people say one thing and live another. He said, and I paraphrase,

“I believe everyone has the right to believe in what they want to believe, but I am offended by those who are not practitioners of those beliefs.”

Live well. Lead well. Love everyone.

If you’re a young (or older) youth pastor or a young person needing guidance to become a leader of character, and I can help you, you can check out my coaching here.

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