the difference between strong and weak spiritual leaders.
There are many practices to learn about leadership, many dimensions to the craft. But the difference between Christian leaders that are good at what they do and Christians that are not good at what they do is not generally just on the lists of practices, but in this one basic distinction: strong Christian leaders draw their sense of identity and calling only from God, weak Christian leaders draw their sense of identity and calling from somebody else.
When you know who you are in Christ Jesus, you can make tough calls when you need to make them. You can stand by a tough choice. But you can also choose not to retaliate, not to overreact, not to prove your point–because you are striving for obedience to God alone. Relentless focus on God’s voice is what makes you a compelling person with a vision worth following. And that is all.
A leader who does not draw their sense of worth and value from God alone can learn good leadership practices, and still even with a degree of success…and ultimately still not lead well. A person who doesn’t master the practices can make their life harder than it needs to be–but it is proven that people will follow a difficult leader who makes hard, counter-intuitive calls (and may not even be fundamentally likable), even when their technique is not perfect.
You think I’m oversimplifying this, don’t you? I am not. It’s the whole ballgame.
I want to be attentive to leadership principles and always have a lot to learn. But I want to be most attentive to knowing God–not because I’m afraid that if I don’t have my quiet time He will not bless my ministry or let me run off with a hooker from Topeka, but because the pursuit of Him is all that matters. Get a man or woman drunk on love for God and charging after Him like a rhino, not out of legalism but near blood-lust for the presence of God, and somebody is going to follow…and something good is going to happen.
Moses didn’t have books written by CEO’s who became Christians and started going to Church (and I’m not hating on that), but he proves my point. I’m glad for resources that help me run a team more smoothly, and I use them. But I’m a trailblazer who wants to walk across the Red Sea while God holds back the waters, and Jack Welch hasn’t done that. So knowing God well (which in turn means I’ll know who I am) is ultimately what it’s all about.