Leon Fontaine - Everybody Leads
As a young leader, I struggled to understand the components of leadership. We use the word and most people don't think they're leaders, but everybody leads. Everybody. You lead your children. You lead by example. Leadership is crucial and taught throughout the Bible, everywhere. And we tend to miss it. Much of the business training that is out there today, much of the leadership training that is out there today, by secular people, colleges, universities, is all Biblically based, because all truth is parallel. And they won't quote Jesus, they won't give you Bible in verse, but the Bible is the most stunning, phenomenal book when it comes to every area of our lives. Our spiritual life, our soulish life, mind and emotions, and our physical life. This ability to lead a good life, to develop companies, countries, a world, et cetera, is all been taught to us in the Bible.
And so as a new senior pastor, I've been involved in church all my life and for 14 years working with my dad. When we first begin to pastor Springs, Sal and I, in '94, we saw such staggering growth in the church that numerically in our building, we doubled every year. We did that for about five or six years, and then it was just absolutely uncontainable, if you do the math. And so, my problems weren't that I needed to pray harder, I had to figure out how to park cars. My problem wasn't that, I needed to love people more. I needed to know where to put the toddlers, the babies, the nursing moms when we didn't have room. I didn't need to just go away all week and play golf to de-stress myself, I had to get, teams together and figure this out.
And so, I struggled to understand, you know, where do skills fit in? Where do my gifts fit in? What kind of education, you know, do I need to pursue so that I could do this? And, there's so much stuff out there from problem solving to handling teams, skill development. Developing your own strong soul and emotions. A strong heart. There's just so much stuff, yet everywhere I go, I find leaders so stressed out. So many leaders when they're unable to develop themselves properly, I'm going to show you one thing that's going to change your life today. They begin to become successful very linearly, in one area. So they can succeed in business or in career, but it will cost them their marriage and their kids. Others can have great marriage and families, but they can't seem to succeed in business. Others can succeed in business and in family, they can't keep a healthy body. Others can't keep a healthy mind.
In North America, we struggle with mental and emotional problems, and I think that in North America, we consume 90% of all mental health meds. And so where there is the most prosperity, where there is the most success, I mean, America being the economic engine of the world, and something everyone's looking at yet you go into that country and you'll see broken people. When a leader does rise up and gets successful, you'll notice that they begin to lose control somewhere. They get angry, and controlling, and manipulative. Whether it's premiers, whether it's Prime Ministers, leaders of business, the mom leading her kids, a dad leading his family, a pastor leading his church. Every one of us must understand and develop ourselves in this area of leadership. Also people begin to resort to drugs. They'll resort to alcohol. They'll resort to dangerous pleasures to try to lessen the pressure.
And the pressure isn't real, the pressure is never real. It's something that you measure, and that you interpret, and you believe. I believe that every one of us can be amazing leaders. I believe you can have your cake, and eat it too. I believe you can succeed in every area of life, and that they can all bless each other. And, so, I'm going to talk to you today about something I see in the Word of God, and it's coming out of Matthew 25. And it says, the kingdom of heaven is like this. Now the kingdom of heaven is not talking about the place heaven, it's talking about the kingdom of heaven. Two kingdoms on the planet, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of darkness is always going to be fighting against freedom. It's always going to be fighting against health. It's always going to be fighting against happiness and joy, and great management.
There's a kingdom, two of them, the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of light. If the kingdom of darkness raises up better leaders than the kingdom of light, then you're in big trouble in your country, you're in big trouble everywhere. And the kingdom of light, which is the kingdom of heaven, needs to develop every one of us in our skillset so we can begin to do what God's called us to do. So the kingdom of heaven's like a man traveling to a far country. He called his servants, and he delivered. Now I'm going to change some words around, because we get so messed up sometimes by not, understanding the Word properly or studying it. And so he called his servants together and he delivers his goods. His resources, he delivers to them. To one, he gives five talents, to another two, and to another, one. Why did they get five, two, and one? Next line says, this. Each according to their ability. Isn't God interesting?
He doesn't give to you according to your gender. Resources don't come to you according to your, colour of skin. Resources don't come to you, because of education. It says here, that this resource, now. The King James calls it talents, and people got really messed up when they actually thought it meant, what gifts do you have. Your talents. No, no. A talent was a bag of gold, okay? And it represented so many years of your salary. It's just talking about resource. So here the master gives somebody five. He gives somebody two. He gives somebody one. And he wasn't being unfair. He was, he was giving out resource according to the present ability that person had. Very interesting. So, the guy with five it says he went out and traded with them. He did business with them. This is very secular.
You know, there's no such thing as secular, everything is spiritual. And he went out and he made five. The guy with two went out and traded with it, and he had another two, he had four. The guy with one, buried it. Now, he had an ability to handle the one because he was given the resource of one because the master knew he could handle the one. He came back, and he spoke with each of them. And he said to the guy with five, you've been faithful with little, I'm making you a leader, a ruler over much. Hm. The guy with two, you've been given two because he had an ability of two, he was so he was given a resource of two, but he took the resource and he went from an ability of two to an ability of. Thank you. The guy with five had an ability of five, given a resource of five, took the five, went and worked with it, and the resource and the ability went to.
Okay. I want you to really get this, because you're, people have read this and studied this and spiritualized it, and I'll talk with people all the time, God, I just pray You'll give me a $250.000 job. Great. You're about to get a resource of $250.000, do you have an ability to handle the office that goes with the income? The guy with one was told that he was lazy, and he was. He made excuses like so many do, it was taken from the guy with one, and given to the guy with ten. Why was it given to the guy with ten? Because if you study this parable out, he's always, resources always follow ability. It must have been that the guy with ten at that point, could handle the one better than the guy with four. Or if the guy, so this is something we see, and we've got to, and don't look too deep into parables. Just see what Jesus is saying. So he said if you're faithful over a few things, I'm going to make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.
You're going to notice in life, that the fullness of joy has a lot to do according to this, with fulfilling purpose. And when you don't feel purposeful, when you don't feel like you add significance, to life, to the company, to the family, to wherever you are. You begin to feel inadequate, and you lose your joy. And people begin to look for purpose. Many people who become wealthy, recognize right away they have no purpose because their wealth is simply a tool. To develop the tool, to develop a chainsaw better and better and better and better and better until it's the chainsaw that makes the whole world sing, but to never use it for any purpose, is to be really unhappy. There's no purpose to your giftedness, your stewardship, your personal capacity, your ability. And so here, this is talking about something that I'm just going to call personal capacity. You have, everybody has a personal capacity. And, we have to understand that your quality of life is determined by your personal capacity, not by your education, your skill, your giftedness, your ability, not by just your stewardship, your spiritual life. There is something that we see in here that is called personal capacity.
Years ago, an old friend of mine, kind of put a little forum together, and he said your ability plus God's resource, plus your stewardship equals personal capacity. So, how you steward your abilities when the resource comes in, that's called stewardship. You and I are not owners. You do not own anything you have. Some people think well this is my money, I made it. No, God gave you that, He said you are not your own. You have been bought with a price. You have given yourself to Jesus. You are stewarding your giftedness, your ability, you are stewarding any resource or opportunity or position, or influence that He gives you. There's different ways to look at resource. You are stewarding it for the kingdom of God.
So every person on the planet has a personal capacity. And everything God gives you in life, has the ability to increase. The church should be putting out leaders of such calibre, you know, people often, I'll meet with pastors. And they want to know spiritually what I do to have churches in cities and televisions around the world. And, programs in different languages, and schools, and all the things. And people just think my, my has God blessed you. Of course. But God's resource, follows ability. If your ability and your stewardship is not changing, then you can't handle the resource that God is pouring out. If three men walked up here, and they are so thirsty, and I have got a hose. And I'm going to give them each a drink of water. But one's got a three-ounce cup, one's got a nine-ounce cup, and one's got a whole backpack five gallon thing he uses when he uses his bike. And so I just let them have as much water as they can, I'm just pouring until their cup overflows. Which is Biblical throughout the Bible.
Your cup is always overflowing, He always give you more than you could ask or think or imagine, but do you have the capacity to do anything with it? So the guy with three ounces, he's got three ounces. He's going to throw that back and be thirsty in minutes. The guy with eight, at least he gets a full cup of water. There's water all over the floor. But they can't use that resource because they don't have the capacity to hold it to use it to apply it. The guy with the entire backpack, well, that guy can go for a few hours. But the guy that's got a line to a cistern et cetera, so, you understand. Capacity. You have a personal capacity. And that's what the Bible is teaching us here. And so, we must be developing our personal capacity. People are praying for money, people are praying for blessing, people are praying for favour, people are praying for wisdom, and I, like all of that is needed. But the quality of your life is going to be determined, as I'm speaking to Christians, all things being equal, it's going to be determined by your personal capacity.
So I want to say that again. You have an existing ability. And God gives you the resource, but you're only going to be able to hold as much as you have an ability for. And as the resource grows, your ability grows, and then because your stewardship is getting better, which is your management ability. Management is the key, it's the key of life. Keys of life. Whatever you manage, well, wow. It's amazing. Whatever you don't manage well, will control you. When you look at people in the Old Testament, like King David who killed a lion, then he killed a bear, then he killed a giant. He was, it's not that those were problems, no. His ability went after that lion with the resource that he had was a slingshot. He used that thing. He was practicing with that slingshot all the time. And he was fighting, and he went out and ripped apart this, this lion, he killed a bear, and then he went after Goliath. And each of these things, he was using his ability, what God, the opportunities God gave him, the presence of God, the resource of God, and eventually he became a king that was running a country and had the resources of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, talent, et cetera.
A steward is someone who looks after another's resources. Jethro and Moses found the same thing in Exodus 18. Moses, he was having a hard time handling the people. And Jethro, who was from another city, it was his father-in-law. He said what you do is not good. And he said why? Because he was stressed out. He had gotten to his set point, if you want to call it, or your level of hard. Whenever you find something hard, you have reached your limit. And you're going to plateau, or quit, or fail. And our language becomes, oh I've just had enough of this. I'm finished. I hear moms talk to their kids that way. And I think they use it just to try to discipline them, that this is the last time, I'm finished. What you're teaching your kids limited personal capacity. Mom's done. Dad's done.
And, you shouldn't use language that teaches your kid that there's a limit. It should be hey, I'm speaking once. You've got like thirty seconds, when I come back there's, then there's going to be a problem. And stop giving them the opportunity to let you scream and talk and scream and talk until finally they know you're done. Because they'll just manipulate you, it's just natural in this fallen world to do that. And, so, we need to understand this level of hard, that this, and it's there for every one of us.
Now once you hit that, you've got a decision to make. And that decision is, whether you are going to go with the flesh, and now, you're going to try to manipulate. If you're owning a company and you're stressed, you're trying to pay bills, you can't handle the two teams that you've got. You're trying to supervise, you're trying to get on to the job site. Or you're a politician, and you're trying to work the systems that the government has in place. And so you've got a set chess board and you've got certain moves you can do and can't do. And so chess, those got a lot of moves, and to be a good chess player, you've just got to know which ones to move when, when it comes to getting ahead. These are not just skills and abilities, these are things that we must steward and work at, and believe, and trust. That God is going to always give you the resource, you need to continue to increase in your personal capacity.
So what is your pain threshold? What's your threshold of hard? A teacher that we brought in that's supposed to be one of the top 25 business consultants in the world, Sam Chan, speaks all the time about the only difference between you and someone way beyond you, is they can handle more pain when they hit their pain threshold, they adapt, they change. Others marinate in their pain and their frustration, tell everybody how hard they work, tell everybody how stressed out they are. Replay all the things that they do, that no one sees. And they now begin to marinate in this set-point, this pain threshold. Their threshold of hard. Whereas great leaders, you don't even know what they're doing. They'll die and people will start talking about them and you realize do you know how much there's accomplished here? Because while others are complaining and whining and do you know what I'm going through, do you have any idea how much I'm doing?
And that's more important to them than changing that pain threshold and moving it way up so they can go into another season, and do more for their family, their marriage, their business, their nation, the kingdom of God. And so, one of the things I want to give you in closing, is recognize the power of Galatians 5:22. Which is the fruit of the spirit, or the strengths. That Holy Spirit has brought into your spirit. And recognize, that in 2 Corinthians 12:20, it says there as a believer, if you don't increase in your personal capacity properly, that your leadership, your life, your marriage, your family, your business, your everything will have discord. It will be jealousy, it will be fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. That's what happens when people don't grow in the things of God and develop their personal ability.
These nine strengths are not something that you haven't heard about. But until you love the people around you that you are leading, which means to have value for them. Until you value, and then you learn to walk in joy, which is a calm, great feeling. Happiness comes from happenings, whatever's happening gives you happiness. I'm going to go waterskiing, I'm so happy I'm going waterskiing. But joy, is a disciplined force that comes from the spirit that you can develop.
And these nine fruits of the spirit, which I, could have cared less my entire life in looking at them. Not my entire life, but as a young leader, I begin to recognize that a leader with joy is almost impossible to weaken that person, because his love will keep him. A leader that is kind, that has long-suffering, that has got self-control, who is gentle or humble. Faithfulness, which is fruitfully faithful. Kindness which is moral integrity. Long-suffering, which is patience. Peace, these strengths will have you in the midst of a, and when everyone's freaking out, chicken little's are running everywhere trying to get you to make the wrong move, because the biggest thing is making the wrong decision, making the wrong move. But leaders, who walk in these strengths, they can easily hear the voice of God.
Now I want to challenge you today with this. Your personal capacity, people quit marriages. I've had enough, there's just no more. And, okay. I'm not saying that there's not a place where you can't, because there is. But is it just because you have limited personal capacity? Some people quit careers, leave cities, leave countries. Had it! Okay, fine. I think sometimes that's very smart. But not smart, if you're doing it before you increase your personal capacity. Some people change careers, they've had enough, they're stressed out. They don't know they can't do anymore. Totally agree. If you have been developing your personal capacity, and this is not just because your personal capacity, this pain threshold, this threshold of hard, has stretched you out, messed you up.
You're taking your work home and it's messing up your marriage, you're taking your work into your kids and you're messing up your kids. Your emotions are messed up, your health is dying, or your marriage problem is being taken to work and making your work hard. Or your parenting problem is wrecking your marriage, your parenting problem is wrecking, you going to work. You can't even concentrate. This issue of personal capacity, impacts every area of your life. God knows it, He understands it, and He's teaching you and I to develop and to grow, and Holy Spirit will guide you in it.
I want to give you one assignment. Just please wake up to your personal capacity. That's what's ringing your bell. That's what's hurting you, limiting you. That's what's making you stressed, angry, freaking out. That's what's limiting your future, and causing you to doubt and get into unbelief. To look at what you've got and not be thankful. Because personal capacity. Increase it, and watch life change. If you're watching today and you don't know this Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then you need to understand that as you hear the teaching of God's Word, faith rises in your heart. The Bible says faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And that's why you feel like I think I need this. You do, you need Jesus. And so, pray this simple prayer of you giving Him permission, because He's given you free will, that He won't violate. And just say:
Father, in Jesus' name. Thank You for sending Jesus. Who died in my place. And gives me a gift of salvation. Jesus, come into my heart. I'm following You for the rest of my days. In Jesus' name, amen, and amen.