I have a friend who wishes her children were leaders. She doesn’t like that they follow, instead of getting others to follow them. I questioned her on this. What is wrong with following? Unless its into sin, of course.
A few years ago, I had a similar conversation with another friend who was discouraged that she couldn’t figure out how to lead. She felt pressure to take a leadership role, felt inadequate for the task, and poorly prepared to step up. She wanted to know how to lead? She felt judged for NOT leading. As a result, I tried to piece together a few posts about what I saw in the Bible about leadership. (see below) But frankly, the passages I used can also be applied to general good character. They aren’t taken from commands to exercise authority or exert influence over others. The more I think about it, the more I question. Where does the Bible say Christians must be leaders?
- Christian leaders should rule differently than the world.
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” Luke 22
2. Christians should not desire to have power over others.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Phil 2
This phrase “value others above yourselves” means to let others lead or to exercise authority over you. I believe some are gifted as leaders and others aren’t. Yet, I believe every Christian has the ability to be humble and serve through the power of the Spirit. In this manner, they are the greatest in the kingdom. Leading others, or ruling as the world defines it by seeking power, should not be the ambition for those seeking to be like Jesus.
What do you think?
Did I miss something? Is leadership a mark of godliness? Should a Christian be content to follow?
If you’re interested, here my posts on leadership:
Follow the Leader (Introduction)
Take the First Step (My understanding of leadership)