Christian, fulfill your leadership destiny!
"What no one ever saw or
heard, what no one ever thought could happen,
is the very thing God prepared for those who love him." [1Co 2:9
Demonstrate Christian leadership and grab hold of your
"I alone know the plans I
have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans
to bring about the future you hope for." [Jer 29:11 GNB]
Christian leader you are meant to be!
Christian leadership is more than a mere position or
Do you really know or
understand what Christian leadership is all about? Few people do.
There is much confusion regarding leadership and management. This
is because managers are often, but not always, also required to
lead and leaders are often, but not always, also required to
Because of this overlap
between Christian leadership and management, people are coming up
with a wide variety of definitions for Christian leadership, most
of which would not pass the test.
If I would
ask you now to define the difference between
Christian leadership and management, what would your answer
Just to say that "a leader
leads and a manager manages", is not an answer,
because you cannot define a word with itself.
Most attempts at an answer
can probably be answered with:
"a manager also does that" or
"a leader also does
I have heard it said that
'Leadership is about people',
whereas 'Management is about process.'
This is not good enough.
Managers certainly also work with people!
lead people. Managers manage resources. Of this, the human resource
(people) is the most important. People can therefore not be made
the differentiating factor between leaders and
What then is
the difference between Christian leadership and
The best comparison will
be that of sheep herders in the Western world versus those in the
Eastern world. The bible analogies of shepherds depict the shepherd
walking in front and
the sheep following. This is Christian leadership.
In the Western world the
shepherd would keep
the sheep together
and drive them
towards their destination. This is management.
Christian leadership is all about vision.
starts at conception, not birth. A Christian leader, by
definition, is someone that leads. You cannot lead if
you don't know where you are going.
Christian leadership comes to
play when you are the first to:
see a need,
have a vision for
addressing the need,
make the decision to
do something about it;
and finally, act upon
For example, if a you
notice an empty soda can littering the floor that
needs to be picked up,
have a desire for a clean environment, decide to pick
it up and throw it away and follow through on your decision
by actually doing it, then you are a Christian leader by being
the first to do it.
Christian leadership is
possible even without having followers. Being the first to
do something does not necessarily imply that there will be a second
or a third. Nevertheless, it still makes you a leader.
does not make you a leader, it only defines a type of
"When God calls you, don't look over your back to see who
As a Christian leader you
should understand that there is no clear cut differentiation
between the elements of leadership and management. Rather, it forms
The following summary
however, could serve as a guide
to help you differentiate between the two processes.
leadership is about activating vision.
Management is about process.
If you have a vision, but you don't act upon
it, you are merely a dreamer!
leadership and management are about people.
Yes, Christian leadership is
about leading people. The church is in dire need of leaders, but
what the church needs more than just people caring about people, is
Christian leaders that can receive a vision from God and bring
it to fulfillment. What I am saying with my soda can example,
is that Christian
leadership is all about your leading, not about your
leadership starts with the conception of the vision, but only gets
recognized with the birth (the activation) of it.
the following biblical leaders,
we can learn more about leadership.
acknowledged as one of the greatest leaders of all
he become a leader?
Was it the day a million
slaves followed him into the desert?
Or was it the moment he confronted Pharaoh for the first
time with the vision that his people should be free?
I say it was the day he
confronted Pharao. As a matter of fact, I might go back
even further and say it was the day God confronted him at the
leadership starts at conception, not birth!
- certainly the greatest leader of all
His followers were to be the measure of His leadership on earth, He
utmost failure. His ‘followers' did not follow Him, they followed
"Jesus answered, "I am
telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the
bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my
miracles." [John 6:26 GNB].
Surely, Christian leadership
cannot be defined by using followers as a measuring
He is the divine example of Christian leadership, yet even
those closest to Him were following their own
"He was teaching his
disciples: "The Son of Man will be handed over to those who will
kill him. Three days later, however, he will rise to life." But
they did not understand what this teaching meant, and they were
afraid to ask him. They came to Capernaum, and after going indoors
Jesus asked his disciples, "What were you arguing about on the
road?" But they would not answer him, because on the road they had
been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest." [Mark
Only at Pentecost did the disciples start to follow where
Jesus was leading them.
They finally started demonstrating Christian leadership of their
Was this when the leadership
of Jesus started?
I'd say no. His leadership started the moment He left heaven with
the vision of giving
His own life for our sins. Christian leadership starts at
conception, not birth!
- the father (leader) of our
He followed God from Haran
and his only follower was his nephew Lot.
If Lot was Abram's measure of leadership, he certainly was a
Abraham, as father of our faith, gives us the very first
example of Christian leadership.
He received vision from God and acted on it by believing
"And he brought him forth
abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if
thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy
seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for
righteousness." [Genesis 15:5-6 GNB]
If followers were the measure for Christian leadership,
would have been a failure. Even his wife was not his
She laughed at the idea of
having children. "So Sarah laughed to herself and said, "Now that I
am old and worn out, can I still enjoy sex? And besides, my husband
is old too." [Genesis 18:12]
Abraham is the leader of everyone today that gets saved by
"You should realize, then,
that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have
Abraham had no followers in
his lifetime regarding his vision, and no relationship with
the followers he has today, those who like him, received
righteousness through faith. Yet, he is
the father of faith, and as such, still one of the greatest
examples of Christian leadership.
Jesus, Abraham . . . were all great leaders.
Yes, they al ended up
having followers. But even if they did not, it would not have
diminished their leadership. God would have commended each one
on his leadership, for they received His vision and acted on it. It
is not always the best leaders that have the most or the best
followers. Some of the best leaders today are still not being
recognized. Christian leadership is not about recognition, it is
The principles of good
Christian leadership should manifest deep
personal conviction. Leaders are watched very closely. They are
role models. Subordinates are quick to perceive when leaders are
saying one thing, but living another. Unless leaders live according
to a deep personal conviction, they will be inconsistent and can be
Christian leadership should maintain rigorous
personal schedules. Leaders lead by personal example. To be
effective in a highly competitive market, the leader will have to
be a model of discipline and diligence. To maintain his edge on the
workers, his own performance must exceed those of his workmen. He
must set the standard against which his subordinates will measure
Christian leadership should place all their
lives in subordination to their goals. Leaders have to embrace
a sense of mission. To be a leader is to have followers. If you are
not going towards a goal, you are leading your subordinates towards
nothing. It is the very fact that you have a goal that makes you a
leader. True leaders see nothing but their goal. They will risk
everything to reach it. To deviate is to fail as a leader.
Christian leadership should be willing to make
hard-nosed decisions. It is impossible to please everyone.
Conflicts of interests will always occur. Leaders have to measure
all their decisions against the ultimate achievement of their
objectives and, considering all factors, will have to decide
Christian leadership should learn to live with
tension. Because of the constant conflict between workers’
interests and the pressure to perform, leaders live with tension.
It can not be avoided. It is essential that leaders keep on making
sound decisions at all times. The ability to cope with tension is
what separates the mediocre from the superior leaders.
Qualities of good
Sense of mission. This is a belief in your
own ability to lead, a love for the work itself and a devotion to
the people and the organization you serve. Self-denial It means a
willingness to forgo self-indulgences and the ability to bear the
headaches the job entails.
High Character. You must be honest with
yourself and others, face hard facts and unpleasant situations with
courage, be sincere and dependable and never fear criticism or your
own mistakes. Job competence This is still one of the best
foundations for good leadership. Even though leaders should not
waste time on doing technical work themselves.
Good judgment. Common sense (the
ability to separate the important from the unimportant), tact, and
wisdom to see and plan ahead makes for the best leaders.
Energy. Leaders at all levels are required
to work long hours and accordingly have little time for relaxation.
Good health, good nerves and boundless energy makes this
Autocratic or Directive
Leadership. Many people consider
this style as old-fashioned, but it often worked well. The leader
makes the decisions and demands obedience from the people
supervised. It is well suited for situations where time is of an
essence. However, it places a stringent demand on the leader’s
ability to be right. He cannot afford mistakes.
Democratic or Consultative
Leadership. Also called consensus
management. This is still a popular approach. The leader consults
with and draws ideas from the people supervised before making
decisions. It can, unfortunately, lead to less than optimum
Free-rein or Participative
Leadership. Also known as
Liasses-Faire Leadership from the man who introduced it. This style
is the most difficult of the different styles. The leader acts as
information centre and exercises minimum control, depending on the
employee’s sense of responsibility and good judgment to get things
done. Some also call it integrative leadership or in a negative
sense it can be called ‘come what may’ leadership. Only mature
individuals respond to it well and there is a real risk of losing
leadership. This style functions by
making the achievement of goals in itself the motivation of the
workers. Work is tailored to provide the greatest motivation for
Contingency or Situational
Leadership. The leader is required
to balance the following factors:
The extent of rapport or good
feelings between the leader and the followers.
The nature of the job to be
done in terms of specifications and procedures.
The amount of real power
invested in the leader
This is the only true and acceptable Christian leadership style.
God is in charge and the Christian leaders obey His directives. God
provides the vision, the strategy and the resources.
leader. Now it is your turn!
ask "Am I doing the job right?" You must first ask "Am I doing the
Ask yourself. "Am I doing what I should be
reach the top rung of the ladder and look around, you don't
want to realize that your ladder was leaning against the wrong
are doing right now. . .
Is it a good idea or is it God's idea?
You have a job that you
should be doing. Are you doing it,
or are you maybe doing something you shouldn't?
you are thinking,
also ponder the following:
don't climb the mountain, you can't see the view."
ever climbed a hill by just looking at it."
aim at nothing, you will hit it every time."
funny things - they don't work unless you do."
would come much sooner if we'd only swim out to meet
criticism is the kiss of death in the courtship of
can never get much of anything done
unless you go ahead and do it before you are
was first prayed by
General Douglas McArthur
for his son.
The words are adapted so that you can pray it for yourself.
"Build me, Oh Lord, to
be strong enough to know when I am weak, and brave
enough to face myself when I am afraid; let me be proud and
unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in
"Build me to be a
person whose wishes will not take the places of deeds; let
me know Thee . . . and help me realize that to know
myself is the foundation stone of knowledge."
"Build me to be a
person whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be
high, a person who will master himself before he seeks
to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet
never forget the past."
"And after all these things
are mine, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that I
may always be serious, yet never take myself too
"Give me humility so
that I may always remember the simplicity of true greatness,
the open mind of true wisdom and the meekness of true
strength. Then I, will dare to whisper, I have not lived in
desire to display Christian leadership in the true sense of the
opportunity now and pray this prayer for