RULES FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN LEADER

Having been a church leader in the past, we were always looking for good leadership. There was always a need for Bible teachers and ministerial staff. Whether we were selecting a man or woman, we used the following Scripture:

I Timothy 3:1 – 7 – “If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable. He must know what he’s talking about, not be over fond of wine, not pushy but gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. He must handle his own affairs well, attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? He must not be a new believer, lest the position go to his head and the Devil trip him up. Outsiders must think well of him, or else the Devil will figure out a way to lure him into his trap.” (Message)

In business, I used the same principles in selecting leaders, whether they were men or women. I believe it is a standard that all of us should use in our daily lives to determine if we qualify. A good leader needs to have high ethical standards and have a good reputation with others. He or she should be a person who is living a life that is blameless and fair to all. This person should have only one wife or one husband and refrain from any affairs. A leader should do things in moderation, having limits, controlling excesses and not be seen as being extravagant. They should have enough self-control to resist temptations and would not become addicted to anything.

We should be able to make reasonable and sane judgments. A leader must be respected by others. One’s decisions and behavior determines a person’s character and presents a lasting impression. Respect is earned and does not come with one’s position or status. I have found that a disrespected leader can only obtain a limited amount of productivity. They usually must lead by fear to gain maximum results. I have worked for an individual that only knew how to manage by using fear. It was difficult to give 100% or more.

A leader must be a gracious host and have a servant’s heart. They would never ask someone to do something they were not willing to do themselves or pitch in and help if the situation warranted. We must be able to teach and communicate in ways that others can understand. It is important to have a mission statement in order for everyone to be on the same page. If a leader has no idea what they want from those under their authority, probably they would have little idea either.

Who would want to be under the direction of a drunk? People often use drink as an escape. Normally, a person who becomes drunk has personal problems. A good leader is able to overcome their anger. A leader can be stern and use discipline without raising their voice or going into contortions. Anger can cause words to be used that can destroy employee’s moral. A person with a gentle spirit can be just as requiring as an ogre.

Some leaders have quarrelsome attitudes. No matter what is said they need to state their opinion. In many situations they need to prove that their way is the only way and others cannot do it as well as they can. They limit one’s ingenuity and the employee will not do someone else’s way as well as they would do it, if it was their way. They may have wished to have done it slightly different.

Money must be a by-product that we receive from services rendered. If money is our goal it can become our god. No matter what job or career we have, our boss must be God. Make your job your ministry. If you do not know what that means, it is to put others before ourselves. We should be in our job with the purpose to help others. How much we initially earn is not as important as assisting others. If we do the best we can we shall be rewarded. We must live by the Golden Rule of doing to others as we would have them do unto us.

A leader must be able to manage their family. If he or she cannot manage their family, chances are they will not do well as a supervisor. To lead it takes compassion in leading and governing. Too many times parents can be authoritative, domineering, cruel, overly stern or abnormally protective. Thus, they cause those they lead to become dependent upon the leader to provide their purpose and direction.

Parents and good leaders must show firmness, mercy and compassion. They must be fair and have balance in their decision making. They must be responsible role models and earn the respect of those they oversee. If those whom we lead do not respect us, they will not submit to our authority. Over the years I have learned that we should lead people and our family in very similar ways. Having a family can be a training ground for leading in the church or a business.

Often becoming a leader can make a person over-confident and self-absorbed. Power can make us conceited. Having a boss who has allowed power to go to his or her head can be very demoralizing. It is best that a person have time in service and understand what needs to be done and how to do it. A Christian leader should not be placed into a leadership position until they are well-founded in the faith and truly understand Scripture. They must not allow pride to make them believe they are more important than they are.

Christian principles can be a tremendous benefit in becoming a leader and being successful. Many of us have learned to become leaders by seeing the mistakes of bosses or supervisors for whom we have worked. Some of us have worked for imperfect, overbearing or incompetent bosses and realize that they can drain our energy and all but destroy creativity. Creative, competent and independent-thinking people have a tendency to challenge questionable decisions and this is intolerable to certain bosses. Or have you worked for a boss whose decisions were capricious, arbitrary and seldom predictable? This is why I believe what Scripture teaches, can be so helpful in developing a leadership attitude and abilities.

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