“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” This is a quote by John C. Maxwell about what a leader does. When we think of a leader this is probably what we think of. Someone who knows which way to do things and does it, while also showing others how to do it. But is this true leadership in the eyes of God? Aren’t we supposed to be servants of the living God? How can we be servants and leaders? Leaders and servants go hand in hand, we are servants but we also are to lead others to Christ.
What needs to be realized is that true leaders are servants. Luke 22:25, ”Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 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.” This can also be a sign of humility. A lot of people who are in power or lead people receive “a big head”. Meaning that they think they are better than everybody because they are in charge. But Jesus tells us just the opposite, to be like servants and to be humble when we are leaders. But we should be leaders and servants all the time.
Remember there is someone always above us and higher than us, our Heavenly Father. We should always listen to him when leading people because he knows all things, and he will show us the way to go. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ God will show us the way.
The greatest example of leading with service is Jesus. No doubt he was a leader, he is the light, and the advocate to the Father. In Mark 10:45 Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” In John 8:12 Jesus tells us he is the light of the world. And with that responsibility he is our only leader.
Another thing about leaders is that they should always be seeking guidance, and asking for wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” This is exactly what Solomon did when he became king. He knew taking on the responsibility of being king is a lot so he desired wisdom from God to help in the things he would engage in. And God gave an abundance of it to him, knowing more than anyone else, King Solomon ruled the land many years and used it his wisdom wisely.
As leaders and disciples of Christ, we need wisdom and a lot of it. God is ready to give it to his children to lead more souls to him. Many people in charge get a little stuck up in that position. They think they know it all, and they don’t.
As we’ve seen, humility is a huge trait when it comes to leadership. If Jesus was as “big headed” as he could have been, he would not have gotten a lot of followers. Nobody would desire to be around and follow someone like that. But Jesus spoke and led with kindness, gentleness, and compassion. That’s what made him a great leader. When you realize someone is better than you, humility takes over. Humility is not a lack of self-confidence. You can have confidence, just not over confidence.
We also need to lead by example. Not by force, because if we do, it will drive those who are lost off because they feel they are being “forced” into it. But just by being an example we can lead those to Christ. 1 Timothy 4:12 says “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Paul is telling Timothy to lead this church he is in charge of, by example.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”- Matthew 5:14-16. By leading we are the light, and we have to lead patiently and diligently to be effective leaders.