“Leadership is the act of influencing/serving others out of Christ’s interests in their lives so they accomplish God’s purposes for and through them,” – Bill Lawrence, president of Leader Formation International, at Bible.org.
God is love (1 John 4:8) and “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
Love is central to Christianity. Christian leaders should be driven in their life by the love of God in anything that he or she does. In this light, may other people recognize the heart and motives of that leader.
Proverbs 16:5 says the proud of heart are “an abomination” to God. Being arrogant does not help model or demonstrate Christ’s interests. Rather, it is in direct conflict with a Christian leader.
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
– Proverbs 16:18-19
We see throughout scripture that Jesus modeled self-development. We often saw Christ seeking to be alone with God and his relationship with the Father.
One of the most known examples of this is when Jesus prayed in the garden at Gethsemane. He knew “all things that would come upon Him” (John 18:4), including the horrific crucifixion that awaited.
Christian leaders can follow Jesus’ example of seeking God for insight into His will and for strength. Becoming more righteous is a lifelong process for all Christians, and leaders need to make time to grow spiritually.
Good leaders look for ways to lift others up and empower them for their own good.
In Nehemiah 2:17, Nehemiah, trusting God, motivated the citizens of Jerusalem to rebuild their walls. He planned, discussed, assured and prepared for them a way to be successful. When a leader tries to move people for their own gain, they manipulate followers. But when a leader moves people for God, they motivate followers.
The right way to correct people is an important skill for Christians. Many passages in Scripture speak to this principle, for example:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:13-14).
“But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26).
At Bethany we teach Christian leaders the right way to approach correction and offer the following tips:
– Understand their temperaments
– Respect their concerns
– Believe in their gifts
– Support their dreams
– Challenge their flaws
Good leaders practice and value integrity.
Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.
– Proverbs 16:13
People follow leaders who exhibit integrity, not the other way around, because true integrity isn’t just about their actions, it’s about words too. Integrity is simply practicing what we teach, doing what we say, being consistent and dependable. Living in this way causes people to trust us and we try to ensure that students recognize these biblical traits through social interaction.
The most important thing in a leader is one in which they are constantly seeking God’s direction. Committing their ways to Him and submitting to His Word as law.
The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. …
Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established. …
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
– Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9