Praise God for everthing first of all, and thank you to silas and others who helped critique me on this. i hope this makes you think even though i haven’t given you all the answers.
Where do i start? With such a broad subject as leadership, it can be hard to nail down something that should stick out in what we are looking for in leaders – leaders in our small groups, in churches, politics, etc. We like a variety of qualities depending on the people involved and what situation we are in. a group of people who know what they want to do don’t like someone who is laid back and disorganized organizing an event. Where am i going with this? think of a leader that sticks out most in your head, think of their qualities. now think of this person as a Christian leader. what qualities do they have? do they rule with an iron fist, not giving an inch and not having an ounce of compassion? or are they more laid back and compassionate? a combination?
What is a Christ-like leader? what should that look like? does it even matter?
Let me ask you this, does your ideal leader really look more like a servant? or do they look like someone who has set themselves(or has been set by others) on a pedestal so they can assert their power in whatever way they please? Leaders are appointed by a number of means, some rise up when they are needed, and melt into the background after they have done their duty. others are more permanent, like church leaders. again, some rise up when they are needed and others are put there simply because there is no one else and they fit the bill. that’s as far as they go. but here is something we need to look at, no matter how or why someone is appointed a leader, the fact remains that they are still there. God has a reason for that. God places leaders. since we have that in mind, it becomes the leader’s responsibility in deciding what happens in a given situation and how he leads whatever he is appointed over. Whoever it is, they HAVE to understand their relationship with God. If their relationship with God isn’t where it should be, it filters down into those they are leading, and sometimes with consequences they don’t intend. if a church has good, Godly leadership, it does well. if not, the church and the body suffers as a whole in some way as a result of it. We have Scripture to say that these men(elders) should be men beyond reproach. Ask yourself when you think of leaders in your life who are Christians – are they men beyond reproach? Do they hold up to the standards set by Scripture?
Do your leaders keep the two greatest commandments? Do they really love God with all of their heart, mind and soul? This is of utmost importance, because from this everything else filters down. If they don’t love God with all of their heart, mind, and soul, then how can they love others around them in a truly Christ-like way? How can they grasp and understand the needs of the people they are leading? Say a pastor is putting on a facade and leading the church teaching and preaching while involved with women other than his wife? What happens when the body finds out? You can imagine what happens. The pastor didn’t care about shepherding his flock, all he really cared about when you get down to it is his selfish desires. He wanted to do whatever he wanted, at the cost of not only his wife’s relationship with him (whom he is supposed to lead as well), but at the cost of the body’s relationship to him as well. He is not setting a Godly example. It doesn’t have to be the worn out example of promiscuity and adultery either. It can be mismanagement of money, happenings with people in the body, and so on. The main point here is that the leader is not following God, and so he cannot show the extent of Christ’s love to them. In turn, this hurts the body he is leading because they are lacking an example to follow.
next question, how does this leader show love to those he is leading as told by the second commandment (and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself)? look at the life of Christ, study it. not only was Christ a teacher, but he was our Leader as well. He is the Shepherd. He loved. In what ways? Sometimes it was through healing, and other times through stern rebukes. He showed compassion, yet He held strong and didn’t compromise His perfect holiness. We are told so often that we have Christ as our example, yet we disregard it and stop paying attention because it becomes so cliche. It is true, in some cases it can just because it is over used, but in reality we cannot ever disregard something so pertinent and true to our lives no matter how cliche. Not only that, but we need to start applying those concepts that Christ taught to our lives as well. Think how much of a difference it would make if not only our leaders, but the body started truly applying Christ to their lives. For me, sometimes it’s hard to fathom the changes that would occur. It would be hard to describe other than saying that it is Christ in us. And maybe that’s what it should be. Christ in us.
So what am i looking in a leader right now? Someone who is Christ-like. if they truly are, then the rest will fall into place no matter the complications. God will be leading them in what to do. They will have God-given wisdom. If they make a mistake, they would be humble enough to ask for forgiveness and admit their wrongs. They would look like a servant, rather than a power hungry, self-centered bigot/hypocrite that we find in politics and other places today. They would know when their time is done in a given position to give it to others whom could do a better job. Pride is not really an issue. A questions to ask are – What kind of fruit do they bear? Do they really love God? Do they show love to people, or do they do what they want at the cost of others?