The Making of a Christian Leader
The church should be raising up the greatest leaders for every area of society. There is a desperate need for positive, constructive, dynamic and creative leadership. Leadership in the church is different from leadership in the world – Luke 22:24-27.
What is Leadership?
Leadership is influence. Here is a leadership proverb for you: "He that thinketh he leadeth and no one followeth simply taketh a walk."
There are 5 levels of leadership:
- Visionary – People follow because you keep things on the cutting edge
- Reproduction – People follow because of the growth you have facilitated in them
- Competence – People follow because of what you can do
- Relationship – People follow because they want to
- Position – People follow because they have to
The Old Testament & Leadership
I believe that every basic, honorable principle in leadership and management has its root and foundation in the Word of God.
- Joseph – He was a tremendous example of leadership skill and organization, but he had to grow in his leadership abilities.
- Moses – Hebrews 11:24-29 gives a commentary on the outstanding leadership qualities that Moses possessed, enabling him to succeed.
- David – In 2 Samuel 5:1-3 David was approached by the elders of Israel. They recognized his strong leadership traits.
- The happiness and prosperity of Judah under David motivated the rest of the tribes to desire the administration of David's kingship.
- The relationship of the tribes to David was warm and tender. He was no foreigner to them.
- They referred to his former valuable service to the nation. "When Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in"
- The strongest reason of all was that he was God's choice. Christian leaders serve better when they know they are in the will of God for then they know they will be equipped for their task by God's power.
- David took a loyalty oath with the people to protect them as their judge in peace and their captain in war.
- They in turn obliged themselves to loyalty and obedience to David as their sovereign under God. Such a sacred pact inspired much confidence in the people.
Secrets to David's Success
- Wise Diplomacy – he knew how to treat people and people liked him (2 Samuel 5:11)
- David's recognition of the Lord in all his blessings. He didn't take credit for his success and prosperity (2 Samuel 5:12)
- He constantly sought the Lord's guidance (2 Samuel 5:17-19)
- He constantly sought the Lord's blessing (2 Samuel 6:12-15)
- He was not ashamed to praise the Lord openly and led his people in praising the Lord (2 Samuel 6:13-15)
God will always bless those who highly regard Him no matter what the endeavour.
Nehemiah: A Leader of Leaders
Nehemiah had 3 outstanding qualities:
- He was a great administrator. This included leadership and managerial skills. He knew what he wanted to do, how it had to be done and who was to do it. To do all of this you need a clear objective of what needs to be done; a sound technique of how it needs to be done; and a good enlistment program of who is going to do it.
- He was a great mobilizer which included:
- Decision Making
- Delegation of work
- Motivating the workers
- He was a great supervisor. To be a great supervisor you need to have communication, coordination and accountability.
The book of Nehemiah is the textbook on leadership.
Leadership qualities evident in the life of Nehemiah are:
- His concern for the people and God's work (Nehemiah 1:1-3)
- His complete dependance on God. Prayer, fasting and waiting on God (Nehemiah 1:4-11)
- He waited and looked for, then took an opportunity when it arose (Nehemiah 2:1-5)
- He was willing to sacrifice a good position as the King's cupbearer to see God's kingdom buillt and people helped (Nehemia 2:6-10)
- He viewed the condition of the city and of the people to get the facts for himself before giving constructive advise (Nehemiah 2:11-16)
- He had an aggressive, progressive attitude, a victory spirit. His advise was to "rise up and build." He was a great encourager (Nehemiah 2:17,18)
- He knew how to handle opposition
8 Kinds Of Opposition Nehemiah Experienced
- Ridicule and intimidation – Nehemiah 2:19,20. He overcame through confidence in God and perseverance
- Anger and contempt – Nehemiah 4:1-3. He overcame by (Nehemiah 4:4-6):
- Hard work
- Conspiracy to stir people up to war against him – Nehemiah 4:7,8. He overcame by (Nehemiah 4:9):
How He Overcame
- Prayer and watchfulness
- Putting watchmen in place
- Discouragement of the people because of all the rubbish, the opposition of the enemy and the negativity of their own people – Nehemiah 4:10-12. He overcame by (Nehemiah 4:13-18):
- He made them watchmen and armed them
- He encouraged them not to be afraid – don't let fear grip you
- Remember the Lord. It is His work and He is great and powerful
- Fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses. Fight for your freedom. You are building for the future
- Selfish greed – oppression of one for another – taking advantage of the less fortunate – Nehemiah 5:1-5. He overcame by (Nehemiah 5:6-19):
- Holy anger and a strong rebuke
- His example of self-sacrifice
- Craft and deception – Nehemiah 6:1-2. He overcame by (Nehemiah 6:3,4):
- Spiritual perception
- Continuing in the work realizing the importance of objectives
- False accusation and slander to put fear in the leader – Nehemiah 6:5-7,19. He overcame by (Nehemiah 6:8-9):
- Prayer for strength
- Treachery: one of your own turns against you – Nehemiah 6:10. He overcame by (Nehemiah 6:11-14):
- Courage (vs. 11)
- Spiritual perception (vs.12)
- Prayer (vs. 14)
The Completion of the Task
The walls were rebuilt in just 52 days through vision, hard work, courage, determination, prayer and great leadership – Nehemiah 6:15-19. The completion of the walls caused the enemy to be much cast down in their own eyes and also increased the confidence of God's people (Nehemiah 2:17 & Psalm 86:17). When the task was completed, Nehemiah placed the city of Jerusalem under the leadership of a faithful man who feared God – Nehemiah 7:1-3.
Christ & Leadership in the Gospels
Christ's method of leadership sets the example: "The Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve" – Mark 10:45.
What Leadership Is Not
- New Testament leadership is not a political power play (Matthew 20:20-28)
- New Testament leadership is not authoritarian attitude
- New Testament leadership is not cultic control
- New Testament leadership is not flashy public relations and platform personality, but humble service
The Positive Side
- The leadership of the Lord focused on individuals
- The leadership of the Lord focused on the Scriptures
- The leadership of the Lord focused on Himself (John 14:9)
- The leadership of the Lord focused on purpose. Christ had clear cut goals for His earthly ministry and a limited time in which to achieve them
The Epistles & Leadership – I Thessalonians 2:7-11
- New Testament leadership is Motherhood
- New Testament leadership is Fatherhood
- New Testament leadership is an example
I Peter 5:1-7
- Leaders are to care for the flock. They are to accept their responsibility not merely out of duty, but with real compassion for others
- A man must be interested in more than making a profit so that he will not be affected in his task or decisions by any personal gain that is unbecoming his office
- A leader is not dictatorial. His major consideration is to be a worthy example for his flock
- The true Christian leader will not resist or rebel against the experiences of life but will accept God's hand upon his life
- Humility should be shown in his relations with others.