If God has challenged you with a position of leadership, take it as an opportunity to better yourself, strengthen your faith, and – most importantly – enrich the lives of those around you. God relies on leaders to show others the path to righteousness, productivity, and obedience. Mark 12:30 teaches us to lead out of love for the Lord, a love that we should harbor with all our “heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Yet your love for others must also motivate leadership. When you lead through love, you become an effective tool for completing God’s works.
Be Selfless in Your Commitments to Others
John 3:16 states God loved the world so much He gave His only Son so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. Note that at this point, people were rampant sinners and enemies of God. Despite these shortcomings, God sacrificed His one and only Son so that we may live eternal life. He paid a great price for our benefit, purely out of concern for our wellbeing. This is what marks God as a truly wonderful leader – His selfless commitment to His disciples.
Follow the Lord’s example and lead with a primary concern for others, not yourself. Show your followers you genuinely care about their wellbeing, and, in return, they will reward you with their mutual respect and admiration. Do not lead for the sake of personal gain or accolades; lead with the purpose of enriching others’ lives. Only then can you fully grasp your followers’ attention and expect them to accept you as a leader. Leading out of fame, fortune, or self interests is no way to become a successful leader.
Speak the Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:15 tells us to “Speak the truth in love.” But what does this mean? It means not to merely spread the truth, but to do so from a position of kindness and compassion. This scripture is an excellent lesson in how to lead with God’s blessing. Even if concern for others motivates your leadership, you may speak in a way that causes more harm than good. Wielding the truth carelessly or without compassion is no better than staying silent. If you hurt or offend people with your words – even if they are true – you cannot expect to fulfill your purpose as a leader.
Let the Holy Spirit guide your steps, actions, and words. Speak the truth with love, kindness, and humility. Only then can the truth break down barriers and bring about positive changes in others’ lives. It is also important to listen with as much love and compassion. Listening is an incredible skill all leaders must acquire to show their care and to offer constructive feedback. In everything you do as a leader, do it with love.
Take Tips from Jesus, the Greatest Leader of All
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of leadership in the Bible. His life represents all the things every good leader should strive for – an obedient following, good judgment, and humility. Jesus submitted His own life to service under God’s will (Luke 22:42). Although He was more powerful than any of His disciples, He came to serve Matthew. Jesus shows his humility as a leader again and again in the Bible, selflessly serving others. In John 13, He washes the feet of His disciples – the responsibility of the house servant. In doing so, Jesus shows His motivation for leading is love of His followers.
Like Jesus, you need to prioritize the happiness of your followers as your primary reason for leading. Being a leader is not about showing how great you are, but about uplifting those who follow you. You can be fully aware of your position as a leader without pressing it upon other people unnecessarily. Be ready to do services for your followers if needed, to show them your greatest concern is their success. In return, they will give you their trust, loyalty, and respect.
Another important lesson you can learn from Jesus’ leadership skills is to always set an example for your followers. Being hypocritical is the fastest way to lose the obedience of your followers. “Do as I say, not as I do,” has no place in leadership. Rather, represent a model of what you in turn expect from those beneath you. As an employer, manager, church group leader, or parent, it is your job to instruct your followers to the best of your abilities. Leading by example is the best way to do so, just as Jesus always let His actions speak louder than words.