“If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.” Ro 12:8 NLT
Leadership in business, politics, and public service doesn’t automatically qualify you for leadership in church. J. Oswald Sanders says, “The overriding need of the church is for a leadership that’s authoritative, spiritual and sacrificial.” Let’s look at each of those qualities: (1) Authoritative leadership. People respect leaders who are certain about where they’re going, and inspire confidence in those who choose to follow them. Tentative leaders don’t motivate others to get on board and stay on board. Uncertainty confuses and disheartens followers. People follow, almost without question, someone who’s wise, strong, and faithful to what he or she believes. (2) Spiritual leadership. We’re attracted to leaders who are gifted and charismatic. But these natural characteristics alone won’t cut it. Followers can be captivated by human traits—often to their own cost. Don’t settle for being a popular “pied piper.” Godly leaders are committed to connecting their followers with Jesus, not with themselves! Do your people know, love, and serve God more because of your leadership? If so, you’re a godly leader. (3) Sacrificial leadership. Would you still lead if, like Paul, you were betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, half-drowned, starved, stoned, and left for dead? Godly leaders lead when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, unrewarding, and costly. They’re dedicated to the sheep they’re responsible for, and the “Chief Shepherd” they’re responsible to! They recognize that Jesus drafted and modeled the prototype of godly leadership at the cost of His own life: “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1Pe 2:21 NIV).