A Call for Effective, Contemporary Christian Leadership


Authentic, Spirit-enabled Christian leadership really matters. It is not just men and women serving in "Christian" roles, such as pastors of churches, Sunday School teachers or denominational hierarchies, but wherever Christians are located in society, whether education, business, politics, government, media, community groups or the home. Influencing our world for good, as followers of Jesus Christ, all gets back to the quality of leaders, their personal commitment to Christ and their willingness to be "salt" and "light" in their circles of influence, to engage proactively, positively and purposefully, springing from a Christian world view geared to hearing and obeying God's will.

Our ideals of leaders are often defined by our cultural expectations: strong, dominant, knowledgeable, charismatic, successful, usually men. Few churches would invite to their leadership team someone who publicly states "I am gentle and humble in heart" (Matthew 11:28). However, Christian leadership is above culture. It is all about Jesus. Our dominant narrative as leaders must be Jesus Christ.

As I have explored this topic, I have discovered that much of what is written about Christian leadership (including by popular authors) is very generic; it can be applied to a lot of different settings; in order to broaden its appeal, it is often stripped of Christian content. We are assured that the principles work, even if applied by non-Christians, because they are eternal truths, however all too often that involves taking the message out of its context and enabling. I am convinced that we need to go back to first principles. Striving for leadership can be a good thing, but it is not to be for its own ends (Jeremiah 45:5). It is not about gaining honour from people (John 12:26), or for self-advancement, but for God's purposes.

For many years, I have been both a Christian leader in a church setting, as an ordained minister, and a Christian in the rough and tumble business world. The chapters that follow are my attempt to portray what I believe works in developing, releasing, enabling and multiplying leaders who will touch our world for God.

A Biblical Example of Leadership

"In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."   This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them." (Acts 6:1-6)

This case study, involving the selection of some of the Christian community's first leaders, is instructive, because it is at odds with prevailing ideas of leadership (both then and now), but the Bible celebrates it as a model that "worked". The selection criteria required that candidates be:

What kind of leader are you?

Re-Defining Christian Leadership

Christian leadership is about serving, not management, in all spheres of life

Qualities of Godly Leaders

Know God and lead others to know, love and serve Him.

Calling all Leaders.....

Read the following chapters carefully, prayerfully and draw from them as building blocks as you develop and use your leadership gifts.

Maximise your life for God's glory.


Section OverviewArticle List