As Christians, we’re called to be leaders. If for no other reason, we are to “lead” people to Christ through the examples we live out. But if you’re a parent, a spouse, manager, or in any other position of authority, you’re a leader and God wants you to know that how you lead is a reflection of Him. God not only calls each of us to be leaders, the Bible gives us clear direction on what a Godly leader looks like. Just like most of the Christian walk, Godly leaders act and behave differently than those who do not live the life.
A Godly Leader Must first be a Servant
A Godly leader isn’t the person who looks the nicest, says all of the right things, and knows how to give orders. A godly leader often looks the dirtiest, is the most tired, and she’s probably hard to find because she’s so busy working.
“The greatest among you will be your servant” – Matthew 23:11
A leader takes on the role knowing that they will do more work than the people under them. Think of the leaders you respect the most. Were they the people who gave orders or the people who worked along side of you? Noted leadership expert, John Maxwell said this:
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
A Godly Leader can be Led
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” –James 4:9
Are you a control freak? You don’t have to answer that but here’s a test: Do you feel that you have to do everything yet also feel like when you let other people do something, it is isn’t done up to your standards? If that sounds like you, you may be a controlling leader. Here’s the reality: There are people on your team, in your family, or at your church with unique talents. God desires for them to use their talents for the good of the team but He also wants the leader of that team to give the person the opportunity to exercise those talents.
If you feel like you’re doing everything and your team is doing very little, first examine your heart. Are you leading with a humble heart that allows you to become a follower when a task would be better placed in the hands of somebody on your team? Are you willing to take orders instead of give? Until you reach that state of heart, you will always feel stressed and overworked. Until you enthusiastically give your team members the chance to shine, they will only function as followers.
A Godly Leader Knows they are Inadequate
“19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” –John 5:19-20
Do you believe you’re up for the task in front you? Does it feel bigger than you? Do you feel like there’s no possible way it’s all going to get done and you don’t have the skills and knowledge for it? If so, you’re in the perfect place for God to use you. A Godly leader relies on God for everything. They don’t set out to be perfect at everything. They don’t even set out to say and do the right things all of the time. They constantly look to God to provide the tools to get the job done.
Don’t give unless you’re giving without motives. Here’s why
That doesn’t just apply to church work. It applies to everything you do. Whatever your role in your everyday life, God wants to be glorified in it. When somebody asks you how you did what you did at such a high level, God wants you to talk about your reliance on Him. Maxwell also said this:
“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.”
A Godly Leader Knows How to Grow
“ Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” –Ephesians 4:25
Maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with taking responsibility for who you are and what God wants you to be. It comes with knowing your faults and living a life of humility and transparency. It’s about humbly taking the criticism of others, many of whom will have a lower position than you, and growing as a result of the criticism. Those on your team, in your family, and at your church are looking to you to display qualities they strive for. One of those qualities should be the ability to admit when you need help.
How Does this Apply to Your Wallet?
When you bless others, God blesses you. When you function as a Godly leader in somebody else’s life, that person’s life is changed for the better. If that happens to be at work, it’s likely that that you will also be blessed financially. Good leaders gain the respect of those that they lead and because of that, they want to work harder for you. Don’t be a great leader to make money but know that successful businesses are the direct result of an effective leader. What better example to follow than Jesus?