Saturday, June 2, 2007

Meaning of Christian Leadership

Christian leadership is a misconstrued term in the church. Often linked with a persona or an accomplishment, Christian leadership loses its luster because its focus ends with the final form rather than the quest. This is not to say that there are no good Christian leaders in the world, but how often do we see the billboard of someone’s achievements without understanding the amount of time and toil involved in developing godly character. To pen a definition of leadership is nearly impossible because of its complex and multifaceted nature.

Godly leadership can be compared to an iceberg. Most of the makeup of a leader lies below the water. The ten percent above the water manifests itself through action, behavior, and decision making. All of these outward expressions are a direct result from the motivations, beliefs, and values of a leader that has developed over a period of time. Though not directly written about leadership, a quote from his book, The Complete Green Letters, Miles J. Stanford illustrates the point how external actions do not necessarily correlate with inward growth:

Important as it is, service is often a condition-centered detriment in the lives of many zealous believers. When service is given predominance over fellowship with and growth in the Lord Jesus, doing, instead of being, takes over in the life. Fellowship and growth must ever take precedence over service and activity, otherwise spiritual declension sets in. In this reversal of God’s order for us, the heart seeks satisfaction and a sense of acceptance through production (law), instead of reception (grace). Bible study and prayer, as well as one’s outlook, become almost exclusively service-centered. Instead of bringing forth service, service becomes the life (91).

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