Being an effective leader is a difficult job! Which is why it’s no surprise that there are thousands of articles online that give solutions for common mistakes made in leadership. While I found many of them helpful, there seemed to be a running theme. I wanted to take a few of the overlapping topics and look at them from a scriptural perspective.
Lead how you want to be lead.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
The Golden Rule is not just something we teach to kids so they’ll be nice to each other. This concept is referred to as the “essence” of who we are as Christians. It is an innate part of our character which should also be a foundational aspect of leadership. You know you’ve made mistakes and members of your team probably will too. We’re humans and we all need guidance, grace, and encouragement.
Work together for one purpose, not personal acclaim.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Philippians 2:3-5 (NLT)
The concept of working as a team and staying humble is something many of the leadership articles hit on but this verse takes it a step further. Humility is important, but it’s just step one. We must also approach each situation, as Christ would, with love. Creative ideas, using your God given gifts, and setting goals for your team are all important but the attitude of Christ should always be the foundation.
Never stop serving.
“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,”
Matthew 20:26 (NLT)
Some of the best leaders I know will be found serving regularly. I personally believe that having a heart for working in the weeds of ministry helps in two ways. First, I believe it’s an excellent way to keep your role as a leader in perspective. Knowing the purpose behind your work is to share the love if Christ and make disciples can help you stay grounded. Second, being active in serving gives you to opportunity to connect with your team and other members of your church or ministry.
Delegate tasks properly.
“But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.”
Exodus 18:21 (NLT)
In this particular passage Moses was on the verge of something most leaders have dealt with; burnout. It’s important to understand the concept of delegation and the significance of doing it properly. It can be so hard to fully turn over projects to someone else, even if they’re equipped for the task. Not only is it crucial for our ability to lead, it’s also essential to the growth of your team. When you turn over an assignment, do so with confidence and allow that individual to take the reins.
Choose stability over pursuit.
“A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.”
Proverbs 29:4 (NLT)
Proverbs is absolutely full of guidelines for effective leadership but this verse stood out to me. Stability is something we don’t often think of when it comes to being a leader but it should be! We’ve all been through hectic seasons. Easter can be pretty intense and Christmas is often worse. We’re constantly throwing ourselves at another big project but we should also value stability. Offering a consistent and balanced work environment for your team will allow them to recharge for the next challenge. It’s much easier to prevent burnout for ourselves and our team than it is to remedy it after the fact.