Limitations of a Leadership Culture / by John Hailes

Our Church culture is inundated with the buzzword ‘leadership’. Everyone wants to grow in their leadership gifting. Everyone wants to be the most influential leader they can be. We read books, listen to podcasts and attend conferences; all on a quest to learn the ever growing list of Irrefutable laws of Leadership.

However, there is one discrepancy and annoyance to our leadership culture….JESUS! He seems to have broken most of the irrefutable laws and yet he is our role model! He managed to create conflict, instead of manage it. He speaks about obedience to God, instead of being a decisive decision maker.

He never promoted himself or his miracles. He made it difficult for people to follow him. When he amassed a large crowd, he often would walk away or send them away. He didn’t live a material life that others wanted to follow. He didn’t avoid the ‘appearance of evil’. He allowed a thief to manage his ministry’s money.

Our leadership culture requires leaders to be ‘sharp’ people; in our actions, body shape, clothing, communication and the way we present ourselves before others. This image is no doubt more attractive to people and it helps them to trust us, but in many ways it shows the shallowness and limitations of our leadership culture. We preach that God cares about the inside not the outside appearance, but we often place a higher emphasis on looks than character!

We read a Bible that promotes ‘leaders’ for their heart after God, their obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading, their desire to live according to God’s law, and most of all their ability to SERVE others….Unfortunately those aren’t traits our leadership driven culture value!

Here is where the current leadership culture loses it:

God uses the Weak and Unassuming

Over and over we see a God who uses the weak to shame the strong. God sees the World different than man, and he has a much fuller view, so why are we striving to follow CEO strategies and traits? We MUST follow God’s wisdom, instead of borrowing man’s.

God should be magnified, not people

God desires to be the main event and it should be our job to make him that! Too often we try to take things into our hands to take credit for God’s successes. Be the person God desires you to be, exalt him and allow him to work through you!

Leadership Development isn’t a substitute for Discipleship!

Our sole focus should be to become more like Jesus. We must live our lives in ‘remembrance of him’. When we give all our attention to being great leaders, it’s easy to take our eyes off becoming like Christ!

Leadership in itself isn’t wrong, but the emphasis we place on it is. We shouldn’t need to fully lean on the World’s wisdom to accomplish God’s work.

I would love to know what you think!?