For a number of years the world has been trending toward “man in charge of the universe” mentality – even within God’s churches. As society moves further from God, church leadership has moved in the same direction, increasingly becoming both secular and self-empowered in leadership situations. But it does not have to be his way. God’s people can move back into growing intimacy with Him and rebuild the deep connection that makes possible changed lives.
How would you answer the question today, “What defines and informs Christian leadership?” Today differing groups attempt to answer that question, mostly in terms of today’s secular perspective and values. You likely see their influence in teaching points such as, “Ten steps to motivate your people,” “Five ways to convince people to do as you direct,” or “How to inspire people to work harder.” All of these and more imply the assumption that the leader and the leader’s personal benefit provide the central purpose of the effort. Yet in terms of Christian leadership, it seems to be just the opposite of what scripture teaches.
Let’s look at John 13, when the leader Jesus, knowing he was the leader focused his attention on providing service to the needs of his followers by washing their feet. Notice Jesus did not relinquish his role as their leader while he served them. I argue leadership from a Christian perspective must be empowered by God and must be other people focused – what is the best interest of the purposes of the organization (church) and those being led.
When we ponder religious leadership roles we must start with the word religious. I personally define people who are religious as those who are trying to find and understand in their own strength an infinite, incomprehensible and unfathomable god. Think of the ludicrousness of that thought. How can finite creatures like humans find a god that cannot be adequately put into words or thought? That has to be discouraging.
But we have been given a solution to the problem and it makes sense. If man cannot truly find or comprehend an infinite incomprehensible god – then the only solution has to be God finds man and makes the way for man to come to God. That is exactly what Jesus did for us – God bridged the gap between Him and man. That has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with relationship – between God and man, made possible by the only one capable of making that bridge, and that is God.
There are a number of Christian Leadership Journals, some focus on John 17 – God, Christ and man’s intimacy (oneness) and others focus on some practical and more secular issues of thinking such as how to lead as an activity of constant behaviors. It would be unfair to you the reader for me to attempt to evaluate the various journals. Suffice it to write, keep in mind first and foremost that God has called to Him to be in a relationship. I believe it is His intent for us to serve Him out of our relationship with Him and informed by His word. To do any activity that does not spring from our intimate relationship with Him is an activity operating from our flesh.
Life’s burdens continually press upon us, often discouraging us and making us tempted to step in with our own strength and very limited wisdom and start solving problems, as religious people often do. But Christ has called us to connect with Him deeply, to the point it is our deepest relationship and from that connection allow his Spirit to open our eyes to new and better actions.
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world