Hey guys, I’m just posting an essay I had to write for leadership class about an article we read. I hope you’re all doing well.
Christ is the example for everything I do in my life, and I hope to continually be sanctified and grow in Him. Weaving Christ into every aspect of my life is a process that I work on daily. In order to live to my full potential on this earth I must give everything over to Christ, otherwise, when I die those things I chose to hold on to become areas in my life where I was focused on myself rather than Christ, these areas are useless to His kingdom, and therefore, were hindering my purpose in life.
Positions of leadership are not exceptions to the standard I set above. In fact, I would argue that keeping Christ the center of a leadership position I hold is equally important as keeping Him the center of my own life. It is through leadership that I teach and exemplify the Holy Spirit living within me, and the love I have for Christ. And if my life with Christ is hypocritical, and my leadership style is not one that is like Christ, I am destroying the Gospel more than any atheist ever could. To claim you have it (salvation) and don’t act like it, you disgust Christ in such a way that you make him want to puke. Revelation 3:16 says, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (ESV). I am to be continually learning about the One who saved me, growing in Him, and discipling others. If I am not growing in Christ or learning more about Him, I will not be an effective leader and have no business leading anyone in any fashion. Spiritual stagnancy is the fruit produced by a root of selfishness, fed by the soil of pride, and grown by the sunlight of self-deception. Spiritual stagnation is an act of self-deception that looks like this, “I can do whatever I want because I know Jesus saved me, I am a good person, and whatever I do is O.K. because I’m a Christian.” Christ becomes an afterthought, a side note. We get into a mindset of, “I’ll pursue Christ and…” Or even worse, “I’ll do ______ and pursue Christ too.” The bottom line is this; I cannot be stagnant in my walk and be a Christian leader, period.
As far as “followship” is concerned, no one should be following me if my personal life with Christ is not in good health. Because if I have followers while my life with Christ is not where it should be, the possibility of my lackluster relationship with my Savior has a high chance of spreading which is something neither I nor God wants happening. So my personal philosophy on followship is a simple one: do not follow me if it is not noticeable that I am become more and more like Christ. I should be increasingly unmistakable in my love for Christ.
“Transparency” is key in any leadership role. But because I’m not a huge fan of using cliché Taylor words throughout papers, I’m going to call “transparency,” “honesty.” Being honest and open with co-leaders and followers is most definitely a key part to being a Christian leader, a Christian in general even, because Christ was obviously honest and open with His followers. Christ always made sure his disciples knew what they had to know, when they had to know it. And I think this is important because being “transparent” or honest and open with people does not mean you have to lay your whole life out on the table that can often be irresponsible and unproductive. Certain things do not need to be shared with certain people. But it is very important that those following you know what they need to in order to follow you and pursue Christ most effectively.
Nouwen’s statement on page 82 of his book parallels almost perfectly with Dr. Habecker’s ideas on Christian leadership. This is not because either of these men are brilliant, it is because what they talk about is Christ-like, and each of them was just clever enough to write about it. Too often lately, Godly men in the church have been exalted for simply stating obvious attributes of Christ that every Christian should live by. So I would say the reason each of the writers paralleling each other is because the Holy Spirit is working in each one of them and revealing to them obvious characteristics of Christ that every Christian should strive to attain, which leads me to my next idea: what Nouwen says on page 82 is not only applicable to Christian leaders, but all Christians. He pretty much says that we need to be powerless and humble before Christ. This is not only an attribute to be sought after by leaders in the Church, but by all in the Church. Granted, it is of utmost important for Christian leaders to observe because of how easy it is to become self-righteous, but nonetheless, all Christians need to be humble and powerless. We are nothing without Christ.
:) Have a good one!