I am a leader.
I don’t mean this in a prideful way to communicate particular leadership competence. I simply mean that the roles which have been thrust upon me as husband, father, business owner, sunday school teacher, and coach confer the responsibility of leadership. With this in mind, I have often taken particular interest in what qualifications the Bible provides for good leadership.
It is natural to look for these qualifications in the direction provided for establishing leaders of the early Church. In I Timothy and Titus, Paul offers criteria for selecting good leaders. Here’s the passage from Titus:
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
What can I learn from this passage about the qualities of good leadership?
1) Temperance – A good leader needs to maintain self-control in all circumstances.
- husband of but one wife
- not overbearing
- not quick-tempered
- not given to drunkeness
- not violent
2) Respect – A good leader is esteemed by his/her followers.
- “a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.”
3) Love – A good leader must place the interests of others above his/her own.
- “not pursuing dishonest gain”
- “must be hospitable”
- “one who loves what is good”
- Main goal – “so that he can encourage others”
How do I measure up?
Am I a person that demonstrates temperance in thought and deed even when stress and difficulties enter my life?
I know I am not “blameless” in the purest sense of the word. But am I someone who is respected by others for the way I choose to live my life?
Above all else, do I demonstrate love for those who I have the privilege of leading in one aspect of life or another?
Leadership is an awesome, and sometimes intimidating calling – one for which I often feel unqualified. I desire that you work in my life to help me become the kind of leader that you intend for me to be.