There are many leadership philosophies in the world, each with pros and cons, and each provides a specific leadership style. A group may consist of only a small number of technical experts or a large number of people, like a country's population. Since good leadership leads to greater financial success, many corporations invest heavily in educating their senior management to develop leadership skills and dominate more market share.
One of the large corporations started a new program to educate younger leaders to take greater responsibilities. So they interviewed many successful leaders to understand and compile a list of the most essential qualities that are common among them. A few of those qualities listed were confidence, humility, positive thinking, energy, friendliness, helping everyone in their teams, admitting and taking responsibility for their mistakes, bravery, faithfulness, etc.
Unfortunately, many participants failed the program since such characteristics are developed in people who are born-again and have constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit! In other words, only a mature born-again Christian may develop those essential leadership qualities!
Admittedly, developing leadership qualities requires a fresh mind and a solid will to disengage ourselves from bad habits we accumulate during childhood or through cultural practices. For example, we have learned to knock off competitors to climb the corporate ladder and succeed! This style of thinking conflicts with Christ’s teachings.
But how can we change the mindset of people acting habitually? Even the disciples of Jesus Christ were thinking and speaking the old-fashioned way because each wanted to be recognized as the team leader. That tempted a few to try human tricks and politics to influence their master. Yet, they ended up embarrassing themselves and hurting their team members.
The disciples needed an intellectual transformation to understand and comprehend Christian leadership. But instead, they were arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. Jesus seized the moment to exemplify Christian concerted leadership.
“Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:24-27 NLT
Jesus’ instructions profoundly changed his disciples’ thinking and way of life so much that the leadership of the first church was comprised of not a single leader but three apostles. And James, who wasn’t one of the 12 disciples, became the coordinator, the team’s spokesperson, and the general council chairman!
We can’t find anyone with all the leadership skills and abilities or someone with the bandwidth to utilize all. Interestingly, even the Holy Spirit does not grant all the spiritual gifts to one person. In contrast, he distributes spiritual gifts among believers so that the community of believers, the church, may work interdependently and in harmony.
“This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:25 NLT
A group of leaders' combined experience and abilities can do much more than each working alone. Additionally, if one makes a mistake in a group of three, the other two bring balance and support. Contrary to competitors, they work and support each other like the members of one body.
Apostle Paul was the greatest evangelist of the first century. He traveled together with other leaders and established new churches. And he formed leadership teams consisting of several pastors at each church.
Unfortunately, as Paul predicted, power-hungry people entered the church. They established a hierarchy and titles to rule over rather than serving their members. Human pride may trick even good leaders into excluding others from the leadership team and presiding alone over the church. Apostle Peter saw this coming and wrote:
“Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” 1 Peter 5:2,3 NLT
Please click on “Teamwork” to continue.