The aim of leadership

“The aim of leadership is not to demonstrate the superiority of the leader, but to bring out all the strengths of people that will move them forward to the desired goal.” John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 39.

To be a leader requires drive. Unfortunately what drives many leaders is a passion for self. One of the ways this shows up even among Christians is when leaders use their position as a means to celebrate themselves. Sometimes they have so identified themselves with the cause of Christ that it is hard for them not to think of themselves as the cause of Christ.

One of the symptoms this is happening in Christian churches is when the leader is venerated and not simply respected. It is as if the leader’s intelligence or learning or abilities become legendary in the minds of the congregation. There are a number of reasons this is not healthy. It can distract the church from the worship of Christ. It can become an excuse for the church not to engage in ministry because the leader can supposedly do it so much better. It can discourage people from thinking biblically about things and encourage them to mindlessly accept one person’s opinions on every issue. And, you know what’s more, it’s not real. Hopefully the pastors in your church are theologically astute men, gifted men, discerning men, but remember, they are men. There is only one person who ever existed who is excelled at everything that matters to God and that person was Jesus. It should be the leader’s aim not to establish his own superiority, but to exalt Jesus’ and one of the ways He does that best is by humbly seeking to serve Jesus’ church and help them use their gifts for Jesus’ glory.

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