By Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Dr. Ike Reighard, senior pastor at Piedmont Church in Marietta, Ga., shared a message encouraging real leaders to rise up and strive for authenticity in Truett-McConnell’s weekly chapel service, October 15.

Opening his sermon with a greeting to the millennial generation, and citing what the college students value most in leaders, Reighard said: “You look for authenticity; that’s the deal for you. You’re into authentic leaders. What I want to challenge you with, is being a real leader.”

Reighard pleaded with the students to seek Christ for leadership, adding: “The world is in desperate need of real, true leaders.”

Defining reality as a leader

Sharing what he believes to be the most important jobs for leaders, he told the congregants: “The very first job of a leader is to define reality. The last job of a leader is to say thank you; in between that, your job is to be a servant leader.”

Reighard continued: “The greatest single leadership lesson I’ve ever learned was in the 7th grade when I was a school patrolman – Stop, look, and listen. That will change your life.”

Reading from Mark 5, he referenced the story of Jesus healing the poor woman on the way to heal the daughter of Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders.

In this passage, Jesus was being followed by a large crowd when Jairus asked him to heal his dying daughter. On his way to Jairus’s house, a sick woman reached out and touched Jesus’s clothes to be healed.

“A very influential person had a very real problem,” Reighard explained “his daughter was dying.” Despite the man’s position in society, Jesus stopped in his tracks when he knew there was someone else who needed his help.

“Real leaders have the capability to walk slowly through a crowd and stop for those who have a lot and for those who had nothing,” Reighard emphasized. “Real leaders have an ability to connect. They don’t see crowds, they see individuals.”

Reighard pointed out how Jesus did not miss an opportunity to help the woman just because He was on His way to help someone else.

“Don’t miss out on what God has for you because you’re on the way to what you thought was your call,” Reighard said. “Don’t get so busy doing something for God that you don’t have personal time with Him.”

He encouraged: “Stop, look, and listen in a world where people crave interaction.”

Choosing the right supporters

Reighard also instructed students on the importance of choosing the people closest to them. He referenced in scriptures that Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him into the house where he healed Jairus’s daughter.

“Great leaders know that no matter how good they are, their leadership maxes out and you need people in your life because crises are going to come.”

Reighard stressed the value of leaders having empathy saying, “Real leaders never lose sight of individuals in the crowd and they all have different needs in their lives. The day you forget about them, is the day you’re not authentic, but narcissistic.”

“Real leaders feel the plight of those in the crowd,” he continued. “Empathy looks at things and comes and stays. Character is revealed in crisis.”

In closing, Reighard shared that the love of a leader is constantly at work. He said: “Love is not a passive word, love is active.”

He gave the students the acronym “SALT” to keep in mind as they strive to become real leaders in Christ: “See people the way Jesus sees people, accept people, love people and touch people’s lives.”

He left TMC students with an encouragement: “Real leaders provide real solutions because they have a committed heart to make a difference.”


Jordan is a senior English major and a student intern for the Communications Department.

Photo/Adam Roark, TMC Design Manager

Return to News Archive