Tonight, I'm writing in brevity a few thoughts on leadership. I usually write in the mornings as that is my most productive thinking time, but tonight I managed some space, so I thought I'd take advantage of it.
Spiritual Gift of Leadership
I don't really want to comment too much on the Biblically-mentioned gift of leadership because, to be honest, I'm not entirely certain on where to draw the line between natural leadership and "supernatural, spiritually gifted" leadership; that is, I feel like the line is kind of blurry. I feel like there is no real reason to think that spiritual gifts are permanent or that a person is only allotted one, so I think it is more helpful to evaluate oneself in light of where one's passions lay - there a person will perform the best services. We need the Spirit to be effective Christian leaders, but I don't feel like this is essentially different than being a leader in general.
What's a Leader?
Truthfully, the best answer I have heard for this question is simply "those who have followers". I know it seems silly and simple, but the truth is there are people who gain followers no matter where they are. I reflect at the men in my family and every one of us naturally get people following us without really even trying. Now, to be sure, there are different kinds of leaders and my father, brother and second son are more alike than my oldest son and myself, but we all lead naturally in our own way (side bar: I left out the women because I am not a woman and cannot really relate to leading as a woman so it's hard to make intelligent comments in that regard). The best example of this is when I take my eldest son to public places such as a park or basketball game and, sure enough, before long he has a pack of kids - not all younger - following him around and doing whatever he says. This is leadership in its most raw form.
The basic point I want to make is that, as Christian leaders, it is imperative that we take that role seriously. Like many Biblical figures, leaders don't often ask to become leaders; in fact, it is often their reluctance which most qualifies them for the job. In any case, when one finds oneself with followers, it is important to do a few things:
- Be like Jesus - It's really the only right thing to do with any kind of influence. In this way, we love God.
- Delegate - No one man is truly qualified to do all tasks that eventually pass in front of a Christian leader's eyes and there's usually someone better suited for the job.
- Trust - Trust God, your followers, your team and your gut. Holding everything and everyone suspect usually saves you some headaches but you miss out on adventure.
In all things, pray and search the Spirit of God which is within you for guidance and confirmation of your calling. We're all here to bring the Kingdom of God into reality; do it with fervor and wisdom.