The Doctrine of Leadership

Part 1   

January 15, 2017

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

Let’s begin our study with the following verse: Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. (COL 4:1) This verse teaches us that the existence of authority demands the function of actual leadership. This verse says it in a nutshell: treat your subordinates with justice and fairness. Period!  Many people today have authority but they are not true leaders because they are not fair or just.

True leadership demands the ability and capacity to direct, guide, lead, motivate and control those under your authority. A true leader knows his (or her) limitations and takes responsibility for his (or her) decisions. Being just and fair is part of taking responsibility for what you do! The Bible is our guide for living and this is where we learn how to lead!

Leadership does not imply that leaders are better than the people who work under them (subordinates). Each individual in an organization is an important part of any company and must be responsible for his (or her) job but there has to be a leader who guides and motivates them. Look at PRO 11:14: Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory. Unfortunately, we have people in many positions of authority who are attempting to operate beyond their limitations and capacity. This creates a bad working environment.

Just because someone is in a position of authority doesn’t automatically mean that he (or she) has leadership potential. There is a vast difference between leadership ability and managerial function! Good leaders motivate people; management regulates people. Think about that for a moment!

True leadership demands a total knowledge and professional understanding of whoever it is you are leading. A true leader is not afraid to delegate authority because it is not a requirement to know how to do every job. This is why a true leader delegates authority. A true leader, then, does not and should not be required to know each facet of the organization himself. He must operate within his frame-work and allow the workers to do the same while guiding them: So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands. (PSA 78:72) Here we are taught that integrity and skill are a huge part of being a good leader.

A leader must be organized in his or her personal life; must be self-disciplined (and encourage it amongst the people he oversees); must have respect for authority; must be free from arrogance at all times and must avoid pettiness or subjectivity.  A good leader must possess personal integrity and he must be his own person. That is to say, as a leader, you don’t have to imitate another leader’s actions. Be yourself within the framework of true leadership.

True leadership thrives and increases in times of pressure. If you panic under pressure, you cannot be a good leader! And as a result of understanding the principle of authority, the leader must possess both objectivity and loyalty to those under his authority and to those who are in authority over him. A leader must possess common sense and flexibility, as well as an understanding of people. He must be free from prejudices of any kind and be fair to all under his command. The bottom line in leadership is: “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (LUK 6:31)

A good leader must have confidence, poise, good manners and thoughtfulness. And he must present himself well – dressing appropriately and carrying himself proudly.  A leader must possess either self-confidence or spiritual self-esteem (for Christians) so that he does not feel threatened by any form of pressure from problems with personnel or malfunctions in the organization. A leader must have a sense of responsibility toward his organization! Remember: The king gives stability to the land by justice… (PRO 29:4)

The key to success for a good leader is perseverance, especially in time of pressure! The leader who perseveres with thought, speech or action (or a combination of all three!) will lead and dominate in times of disaster. And in doing so, will encourage, deliver and change the people involved in the disaster.

The true leader may be a good or bad person – pleasant or obnoxious – attractive or unattractive. But one thing for sure is a true leader will always be controversial! Why? This is because others in authority, who do not possess the ability to lead well, will seek to discredit and defame him. And in doing so, will bring attention and controversy to the leader. But the true leader will not be affected by what other say about him! We should never care what others think of us. Our focus, as Christians, is to care only about what God thinks of us!!

Let’s look at the function of leadership in the local church. The leader is the Pastor/Teacher. His leadership is established by his faithful and consistent studying and teaching of God’s Word. The Pastor/Teacher’s responsibility as leader is to direct the congregation to what the Bible teaches, rather than to establish dependence on him. He is not to encourage creating a role model out of himself or anyone else. And, in recognition of every believer’s privacy, the Pastor/Teacher should NOT counsel. This is because a true Pastor/Teacher should encourage people to lean on God’s Word, not lean on him. A true Pastor/Teacher encourages his congregation to go to God for power and strength – not other men. He also seeks to protect the privacy of his congregation rather than invade it!  1CO 11:28 teaches us that we must examine ourselves – NOT others! In fact, not only are we not to investigate another’s life or motivation, but we do not possess the ability to do so. Only God can judge our motivations! So, we are to steer clear of the false Pastor/Teacher and those who follow him.                                                        {to be continued}

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