There is a lot of guidance about what being a leader is out there, but my post tonight is to share some thoughts about several characteristics that are unique to Christian leadership.
First, and almost a duh, is that a Christian leader, one needs to be a Christian. I am not referring to the state of believing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Rather, being a Christian only occurs by authentically living out the life Christ calls you to live in the world–by being the loving presence of Christ to others. If a Christian leader is not authentically being Christian, then you loses any authority to lead others.
Now some can mistake this to mean that that a Christian leader cannot fail or make mistakes. Far from it. To borrow a quote from Dag Hammarskjöld:
“Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated.”
Living such a life is what is necessary for a Christian leader.
The second characteristic of a Christian leader is that they know what their ideal or goal is in life. Simply, they know what they are living for, or more accurately, towards, and that is transforming union with God; otherwise know as holiness, or becoming a saint. I spoke about mentality a couple of days ago (https://christinasemmens.com/blog/2018/07/13/what-is-your-mentality/), and this is part and parcel of knowing the ideal you are truly living for.
A third characteristic of a Christian leader is being a servant leader. One who is striving to ensure the progressive conversion of the person(s) they are leading. This happens only through encountering, engaging, accompanying and mentoring all those you lead.
This means that a Christian leader must come to know each individual’s personality, disposition and circumstances. To not only know who the person is, and how they are, but why they are that way. To know how they think, what they want, and how they live. But even more importantly, to share with each person the vision of who that person can, and should, be as a son or daughter of God by instilling faith, hope and love through our own personal witness of Christian life and friendship. This is what a true servant leader does and is.
In brief, a Christian leader’s whole being is rooted in love–the love of God, the love of people, and love for the world, and it is through radiating that love to all whom God entrusts to your care that you live out your Christian vocation to become a saint, proclaim the Good News that God loves each and every person, embody the loving essence of Christ, and lead others to holiness. This is Christian leadership.
Know of my prayers for each of you, and hope to see you on the Way tomorrow.