Jonathan's Perspective  

Sep 4

'Christian Leadership'

Do you consider yourself a leader?  When I ask a crowd to "Raise your hand if you are a leader", it is interesting how few do.  Many think that being a leader only has to do with their employment situation; if they are not in a management position, they don't consider themselves a leader.  Others think of leadership more broadly and think that leadership is bestowed as a role within an organization, such as being on a non-profit board, leading a committee, or teaching.  However, the scope of leadership is much broader than these definitions.

God entrusted humanity with leadership in Genesis 1:28: "God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and rule over it.'"  That same word for "rule" is used many other places in the Old Testament.  It takes on several different meanings: create, order, shepherd, organize & rule as a king, encourage, and build.  From these meanings of ruling God reveals a larger scope to what we consider leadership.  When we organize our lives to be grounded and productive; when we encourage and shepherd our families (both mothers and fathers) or children and adults in classes; when we create beautiful art; when we build edifices, organizations, and community endeavors; we are leaders. 

Leadership is influence, pure and simple.  Leadership is not about position but your influence on other's lives.  It is your ability to shape someone's thinking, emotions, or will toward an end.  You can lead others up to those who have authority over you.  You can lead across to peers.  You can lead those entrusted to your care.  Godly leadership, in particular, influences people toward God's will, vision, ethics, and Kingdom values.  It is about helping people follow Jesus, or at least catch a glimpse of what it means to follow Jesus, and to do as he did. 

I like to think of leadership as how I take up my God-given responsibility in my little part of the global garden.  I can't influence everything for godly change, but I can influence those entrusted to me through the network of people and organizations that I am a part of.  God has given me a task to order my part of the garden.  That both encourages me to live up to what God has given me to do, and sobers me as I consider the scope of the work to be done for Him.  What is the scope of your part of the garden that God has entrusted to you?  Take up the responsibility and authority to lead well.  It will delight the heart of God!

Pressing into 'life that is truly life',

Jonathan

 

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