I have been fascinated by the idea of leadership for most of my adult life. While working in the secular business world and before my early retirement, I spent over thirty years as a human resources professional. For many of those years, I had responsibility for organizational development and design and I helped managers and organizations achieve success by showing them strategies and techniques to enhance leadership in themselves and in their people. The guiding premise was, everyone can be a leader. Everyone has leadership opportunities and potential within their particular sphere of influence. In other words, you may not have a title that denotes leadership like "supervisor" or "manager" or "director" or "vice president," but you are the leader of what you do - of what you're responsible for - even if no one reports to you.
However, in my role as pastor, I look at leadership from a totally different perspective. So, it's not business leadership with an ultimate goal to gain market share or to increase profits or to enhance productivity - now it's all about spiritual leadership and bringing glory and honor to God. Even though my perspective is different, the basic premise is remains the same - everyone can be and should be a spiritual leader!
What is a spiritual leader? In an article on this same topic, Christianity Today describes five qualities found in spiritual leaders.
1) Move people from where they are to where God wants them to be.
2) Depend on the Holy Spirit.
3) Are accountable to God.
4) Can influence all people, not just God's people.
5) Work from God's agenda, not their own.
So, to me, this supports the basic "everyone a leader" premise because everyone who calls themselves a Christian should have these five qualities. For the Christian, these qualities should be in you no matter what title or position you may hold in the church. So, as we prepare for our first Leadership Conference next month, we plan to explore these qualities in greater detail and they can be enhanced in each of us.