3 Leadership Lessons I Learned From Star Trek

I am a Star Trek junkie. I wouldn’t consider myself a Trekkie or anything (I don’t speak Klingon and couldn’t tell you what episode it was when Kirk encountered the little furry things-can’t even tell you what they’re called) but I love to watch the shows and movies. Now, I know many of you may disagree with what I am about to say but I think the most recent movie, Star Trek, is the best Star Trek movie to date. I loved how it gives the back story to the original characters and I thought that they done an excellent job casting the characters, but what I enjoyed most about the movie was the lessons I took from it about leadership:

Make sure you have the right people for your team– There is a scene in the movie when the characters are called to duty and we first see the crew aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. The captain of the Enterprise is Capt. Pike. He learns that they may be heading into a trap and tells his communications officer to scan for Romulan transmissions. The communications officer, who was probably in that position because of his education, years on the job, and rank, informed Capt. Pike that he didn’t think he could distinguish Romulan dialect. Capt. Pike’s response was simple, replace the officer with Uhura, someone who was still a cadet (in school), who didn’t have the tenure, nor the rank of the communications officer but she possessed something he didn’t have- the ability (or gift) to distinguish the Romulan dialect and many others. Capt. Pike recognized that he did not have the right person in position. Don’t misunderstand me here. Education is very important. I am pursuing my education and I think everyone in ministry should seek some type of formal education but education does not equal gift. God has gifted each person to achieve His will and we need to make sure that when we choose our team we are not just looking for someone with the education or tenure. We need to make sure they have the ability to perform the job required. God’s person (the one He’s given the ability to)=the right person.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:4-8

Trust your team and their advice– This theme is throughout the movie. There are numerous occasions where Kirk must test his crew in order to accomplish the task before them. One particular instance is during the final fight scene when Kirk informed Mr. Sulu that even if he (Kirk) is on the enemy ship, if Sulu felt he had the tactical advantage, he was to take it. Another situation was when Scottie had to “beam” three different people from two different targets onto one transporter platform- a feat never done nor attempted before. Kirk trusted his team to get the job done. Kirk didn’t really have a choice on who his team was. We; however, play a key role in choosing who is on our team. Here is a thought for you to chew on. You chose the person because you felt that it was who God wanted in that position. If he/she is God’s choice then don’t you think you can trust them to do what God has called them to do. Don’t get me wrong, you are the one responsible for the church but don’t let your responsibility for the church get in the way of your team doing their job. God equipped them for it. Who knows, if you loosen the reigns, your people may surprise you because now you are giving God the room to work.

“…If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12: 6-8

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12: 15

Trust the Holy Spirit– When Spock took command of the ship, he made the logical decision to rendezvous with the rest of the fleet in order to defeat the Ramulans. That made the most sense. It was certain death to try and take on a ship of that size, with advanced weapons, all alone. Kirk disagreed. He knew in his gut that the best choice was to pursue the Ramulan ship and try to stop them at any cost. Although Kirk’s idea was illogical and stupid, when he took command of the ship he followed through with his instinct and was able to defeat the Ramulans. As leaders, we have something better than our instincts to follow. We have the Holy Spirit. How often do we know without a doubt (through our personal Bible study and prayer life) that God is telling us to do something. Something that is outside the box but still falls inline with Scripture and yet we (or others) think it is illogical because it goes against tradition, it is considered “blasphemy”, or people (“Christians”) will leave the church if you do the very thing God is leading you to do. Let me ask it this way. How many lives do you think were lost because you didn’t follow the Holy Spirits leading? If Kirk hadn’t followed his gut instinct, all of Earth would have been destroyed. God has called you, Pastor, to lead the church the way that He wants it led, not the way that the people want it led. Follow the Holy Spirit, lives are at stake.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16: 13

“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” Acts 10: 19-21

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