Here is how I define a leader: Someone whose godly influence inspires, empowers, and enlists others to willing follow them.
The Apostle Paul stated, “Whoever aspires to be an overseer (leader) desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1) What’s noble about being a leader? It’s noble because leadership is hard work. It requires character, discipline and faithfulness something many people don’t possess.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul proclaims the essence of biblical leadership, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” To me, this is one of the scariest verses in all the Bible. I cannot say what Paul said unless I’m living an example worth following. The church and the world are in desperate need of leaders worth following.
Here are four areas where godly leaders must be a good example.
1. As a Servant Leader.
A servant leader finds joy in putting others’ needs before their own.
This doesn’t come naturally. You don’t believe me? Consider this, when you look at a picture for the first time, with you in it, who do you look at first? It takes extreme effort to battle our selfish human nature and become a servant leader.
2. As a Front-line Leader.
Front-line leaders set high expectations, hold people accountable and lead by example.
In WWII, Dwight Eisenhower was the allied supreme commander of all the forces. To train his generals, he would take a chain and stack it up on the table. Then he would ask the generals, “If I push the chain, which way will it go?” He would hear a lot of different answers. But the correct answer is, you really don’t know. Then he would ask, “If I picked it up by the end and I pulled the chain, which way will it go?” The answer was clear and simple, it will follow wherever you go. Now, this is front-line leadership.
3. As a Secure Leader.
A secure leader has nothing to prove and no one to impress. They humbly admit they don’t have all the answers. They realize if they are the smartest person in the room, they’re likely in the wrong room. Their security comes from God.
4. As a Growing Leader.
Leadership is a journey and not a destination.
The difference between a good leader and a great leader is the great ones continue to grow. They invest time and energy in developing their leadership skills. They read, listen, and attend conferences to become better leaders. Growing leaders take leadership seriously.
As church leaders, may we all be a good example worth following.