Excuse me while I start this blog with a mini-rant. Listen people, if you want to be in a leadership position you must take responsibility for your actions and those of who you lead. I’m sick of leaders who are more than willing to take the credit for when things go right. But, God forbid something goes wrong. Then those same leaders are quick to deflect, blame someone else, or pretend like nothing has happened. If you are unable to take ownership of the mistakes made by you, your staff, or those who you lead then you don’t need to be in a leadership position, period! …and I’m done with my rant.
This is going to be a three-part series on three qualities all biblical leaders must have (which also applies to all leaders). I will spend the next three weeks on each quality. These three qualities are a must-have. There is no way around it. If you can’t live up to them then you shouldn’t be a leader. There are way too many pastors, elders, deacons, and church leaders out there who are leading people astray. They are in a leadership position because they want the power not because God has called them. Or, maybe God did call them but they have forgotten that call.
Before I get started let me get three obvious Christian leadership traits out of the way first: called by God, submitting to God, humble attitude toward others (servant). Now, I bring you the first leadership quality all leaders must posses.
This means you know what you are doing in your job. To be a leader means you have to be able to do your job very well and be able to teach others to do it. Mistakes will always happen. But what will separate great leaders from average leaders is what comes after the mistake: acknowledge it, learn from it, and never do it again. If you keep making the same mistake repeatedly, then you are not performing competently.
For example, I’m a carpenter. For me to be a good carpenter I have to know exactly how to fix something or build something before I start the project. If I start something before knowing what I’m doing then I’m not performing competently. I am a competent carpenter because I have the ability, skill, and knowledge to do carpentry work.
When it comes to biblical leadership, this means you are living out what you are teaching. You know your Bible well. You can teach others what the Bible teaches. You live as a child of God. Again, this isn’t saying you are sinless, but you do sin less. Like I said two paragraphs above about mistakes, you recognize when you sin and acknowledge it. Ask for forgiveness from others and God. Never let that sin take you down.
For me, it’s easy to recognize a biblical leader who is performing competently. They have confidence. They know what they are teaching and living out. They know and read the whole Bible, not just a few verses here and there. They know God is real. They know Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. They know Jesus is coming back again. They know they will be united in heaven with all the other believers and spend eternity with our Savior. They have the Holy Spirit. They have swag. And, most importantly, they have a humble attitude toward others.
Look at yourself
Now, if you are a leader, ask yourself, “Do I perform competently?” I’m sure your answer will be yes. So here is a harder challenge, ask those you lead if you perform competently. I urge all leaders to strive for this quality. If you don’t think you are there yet then maybe you need to step down for a while until you can be at this level.
As a biblical leader you are never going to know all the Bible but you should have a really good grasp on what the Bible teaches and what you believe in. You should be able to teach others competently using the Bible as a guide not your own thoughts. You should be able to take people through the different books of the Bible and show them what they are about. Study the Word of God and stay connected to God through prayer then you will become (or stay) a competent Christian leader