Throughout the Betenbough companies, we reserve the title of leader or manager for those given authority over others. Romans 13:1 declares, “…for there is no authority except that which God has established…” Therefore, by God’s Spirit we recognize and confirm leaders God has established. The people God has given to us to lead belong to Him for His purposes and we must consider carefully the men and women that we confirm to lead them!
Covenant, a Latin word, simply means “agreement” or “bond.” The Hebrew word most often translated to “covenant” is berit in the Old Testament (appearing about 280 times). The origin of the Old Testament word has been debated; some have said it comes from a custom of eating together (Gen 26:30; 31:54), an intimate time of fellowship and agreement. However, the preferred meaning of this Old Testament word is bond; a covenant refers to two or more parties bound together. Both meanings seem appropriate for our purposes here. Similar to a marriage covenant between husband and wife, all our leaders are bound together voluntarily, under God’s supervision. Our leaders are invited to join with us, and we will go together as we lead God’s people that He has entrusted to us.
This new covenant is an extension of the original covenant between Rick and Ron Betenbough that goes back to early 1992, in which we agreed to “honor God” as we built homes for the marketplace. We established our partnership with a covenant to honor God. Today, all the leaders serving within Betenbough Companies have joined this covenant under God’s supervision, and we don’t confirm authority outside of the covenant. No “back-door” leadership is allowed. To have authority and responsibility for people is to be bound by our covenant.
At the heart of our covenant is our common purpose statement for all Betenbough Companies:
TO REVEAL GOD AND HIS KINGDOM THROUGH OUR WORK IN THE MARKETPLACE
This is why we exist. It was established by our Board and confirmed by our Senior Leadership team unanimously! As always, we don’t require everyone to believe in this purpose or share our faith to come to work here. Individual contributors simply must be a cultural fit for our company and a functional fit for an available role to join us. Yet, our leadership covenant requires our leaders to adopt this purpose for themselves and their leadership.
After all, how can we lead together if our purpose is not unified? As an example, how could Wal-Mart, one of the largest retailers in the world, be so successful if their leadership were not aligned? Not everyone who works at Wal-Mart must believe in the “discount retail strategy,” but all leaders must in both purpose and practice! For Betenbough Companies to achieve God’s purposes, its leaders must seek God as they lead others.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the Spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
– 1 John 4:1-3
Our leaders must adopt our purpose for themselves and their leadership and commit to being led by God’s Spirit as they lead others.
Throughout Betenbough Companies, we endorse a culture of high accountability. That means when we make commitments we are accountable for the results. If we are not trying to judge or measure spirituality in our leaders, how will we hold each other accountable to our purpose and spiritual leadership? Rather than judge the level of faith or spirituality within our leaders, we will see the fruit of God’s Spirit in the way they lead their team.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. – John 15:8
There is a distinct and noticeable difference between someone who leads in the natural way most of the world does, and one who is a spiritual leader.
Jesus’ Model for Spiritual Leadership of a Team
John 17:6-9 captures the final recorded prayer of Jesus for His team, which was just before He went to the cross. As Jesus talks to His Father, He seems to be giving a careful account for the mission God sent him to accomplish. Within those few verses you can find a model for what spiritual leadership of a team looks like:
- “I have revealed you to those you gave me out of the world.” We must spend time daily seeking God’s leadership for wisdom, clarity and direction for ourselves and the team God has given us. We must model spiritual discernment and obedience as we ask God for guidance on day-to-day decisions. We must intentionally model and promote professional, personal, and spiritual growth, and cultivate an environment where God is revealed.
- “You gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” Moses said it. David said it. Solomon said it. Jesus said it. The people belong to God. He has entrusted them to us for a season for His purpose. We must lift them up to Him. As we develop authentic relationships, God can join your conversations naturally and appropriately and be revealed!
- “Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.” Jesus preached, taught, and healed as He walked around, but you always knew that His Father in Heaven was His source of power for these things! Do the people you lead know who or what your source is? Do the people you lead know that God has, and is, and will continue to transform you in miraculous ways? Do they know that everything you have – your love for them, wisdom and direction for your leadership, favor and success – is from God? Spiritual leaders give God credit for all success, and invite others to tap into God as their source!
- “For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed you sent me.” Do you ask God to give you encouraging and timely words for the people that you lead? Do you bring them to those people and do they trust you and believe they are from God? Love them genuinely and they will trust you! Bring God to people’s awareness by highlighting the miracles that happen around us, and helping connect spiritual truths to practical situations.
- “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” Are you praying for the people you lead and asking God for wisdom and direction for you and for them as you lead them? Pray for and with the people you lead. Remember they belong to God for His purposes. You must lift them up to Him and help them realize their highest and best use in God’s Kingdom. You must guide them, care about them and care for them so that they will know God’s love for them through you!
Do you genuinely care about the people you must lead? Ask God to break your heart for them! Ask Him to show you how to love them. Commit to a style of close engagement.