The following principles of leadership emerge from biblical teaching:
1. Christian leaders should be certain that their goal is to serve God and others, not to receive the title or honor that comes with leadership.
2. Leaders should not use their position for their own advantage or comfort. No task should be “beneath” them—although some tasks may be delegated. They should not ask others to do what they are unwilling to do themselves..
3. Leaders will seek to distinguish their own preferences from the will and welfare of the group as a whole.
4. Normally the position should seek the leader. There may be some situations in which persons may apply or volunteer. Nevertheless, when someone strongly desires a particular responsibility, his or her motivation should be carefully examined.
5. We must learn to see each other as valuable to the Lord and basically equal in his sight.
Building a Personality
Leadership is not magnetic personality. That can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing people; that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to higher standards, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
A study was recently completed on corporate managers. In it they were asked if they voiced positions that (1) focused on the good of the company, rather than personal benefit and (2) jeopardized their own careers.
Emerging from this study were the four leader-types which are found in all organizations.
Type #1—courageous. These people expressed ideas to help the company improve, in spite of personal risk or opposition.
Type #2—confronting. These people spoke up, but only because of a personal vendetta against the company.
Type #3—calloused. These people didn’t know, or care, whether they could do anything for the ompany; they felt helpless and hopeless, so they kept quiet.
Type #4—conforming. These people also remained quiet, but only because they loathed confrontation and loved approval.
The researchers discovered that the courageous managers accomplished the most, reported the highest job satisfaction, and eventually were commended by superiors. Their commitment had certainly improved the quality of their lives.
Courage: You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, Jon Johnston, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 138-139
Definitions of Leadership
Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others. One man can lead others only to the extent that he can influence them. This fact is supported by definitions of leadership by men who have themselves wielded great influence.
Lord Montgomery defines it in these terms: “Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence.”
Dr. John R. Mott, a world leader in student circles, gave as his definition: “A leader is a man who knows the road, who can keep ahead, and who can pull others after him.”
President Truman’s definition is: “A leader is a person who has the ability to get others to do what they don’t want to do, and like it.”…
Lord Montgomery enunciated seven ingredients necessary in a leader in war, each of which is appropriate to the spiritual warfare:
(1) He should be able to sit back and avoid getting immersed in detail.
(2) He must not be petty.
(3) He must not be pompous.
(4) He must be a good picker of men.
(5) He should trust those under him, and let them get on with their job without interference.
(6) He must have the power of clear decision.
(7) He should inspire confidence.
Dr. John R. Mott moved in student circles and his tests covered different territory:
(1) Does he do little things well?
(2) Has he learned the meaning of priorities?
(3) How does he use his leisure?
(4) Has he intensity?
(5) Has he learned to take advantage of momentum?
(6) Has he the power of growth?
(7) What is his attitude to discouragements?
(8) How does he face impossible situations?
(9) What are his weakest points?
J. O. Sanders in Spiritual Leadership, pp. 19-24