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Christian Leadership Is About...

By John Simpson.

Leadership is about:

* Presence not power;

* Stature not status;

* Character not charm.

An effective leader is one who is more concerned about:

* Relationships than outcomes;

* Patience than progress;

* Grace than guilt.

Inspiring leadership requires:

* Internal security;

* A freedom from having to prove anything to anybody;

* An active willingness to help others achieve and receive the accolades which will accompany their achievement.

Discerning leaders know ahead of time that:

* The wheels fall off the best plans every so often - but there is always a spare;

* Failures and mistakes are the strategic components of any worthwhile enterprise - and are not panicked by this;

* Their style will not appeal to everyone, so there is no purpose being anxious about trying to please everybody - it is a pointless exercise.

Leaders who are at peace with themselves:

* Have a much better chance of being at peace with others;

* Will be able to cope with the inevitable experiences of inadequacy and attacks of self doubt when the chips are down - these are par for the course - along with their rough edges (without losing too much sleep);

* Will not be overly bothered by questions which do not have immediate answers.

Patient leaders who dare to have visions will:

* Give time for the vision to catch on without getting frustrated by the slow of heart;

* Take special care of genuine critics and will listen to them and learn from them without necessarily agreeing with them;

* Have a special soft spot for others who are trying to shape visions too.

Long term leaders (as distinct from ‘nine day wonders’) will set ample time aside for:

* Regular and prolonged periods of quietness to hear what is going on inside themselves, to hear what the circumstances are saying, to hear the voice of Christ;

* Constant and growing familiarisation with the Gospel story and the principles for living which are found there;

* The practice of prayer in whatever way has real meaning for them personally.

Creative leaders know where to look for the best resources.  They start by:

* Looking at their own experience of life and what they have already learnt;

* Listening to the stories of others and what they have learnt too;

* Borrowing, begging and otherwise acquiring anything which might have some relevance for what they are wanting to accomplish (but only as the final strategy, not the first).

Daring leaders have the happy knack of knowing:

* How to bring out the best in the fearful and hesitant;

* How to inspire confidence in the faint hearted;

* When to be up front and when to get out of the way.

Generous leaders:

* Encourage the expression of points of view which are different from their own;

* Try to put the best construction on the behaviour of others - even when it has made life difficult for them;

* Affirm diversity and enjoy the synergy which comes with it.

In the end, Christian leadership is about:

* Loving the people you have been called by Jesus to serve;

* Who you are, not what you do;

* Believing that Christ has called you and equipped you to be the person He wants you to be (but not to bring in the Kingdom single handed by tea time tonight!).

The Revd John Simpson was until recently Superintendent Minister of the Baptist Union of Victoria, Australia. He is now retired, but is continuing in active ministry.

Ministry Today

You are reading Christian Leadership Is About... by John Simpson, part of Issue 23 of Ministry Today, published in October 2001.

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Ministry Today aims to provide a supportive resource for all in Christian leadership so that they may survive, grow, develop and become more effective in the ministry to which Christ has called them.

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