Am I supposed to be a leader?
Am I called to lead? How? In what way? These are some profound questions to consider with life-changing implications for us. We just started a new series at The Well called “The Young Leader” where we are learning about God’s heart for leadership.
I want to submit to you that if you are a Christian, you are called to lead, because every Christian is called to lead. You might think, “I hope that’s not true, you don’t know so-and-so… he definitely shouldn’t be a leader”. Or, you might be thinking that leadership is just something that pastors and “professional” Christians do. Or that God could never use you as a leader. It is true that some of us are not in a good place to be leading anyone right now, but the command to rise up into that calling is there for every Christian.
“It is true that some of us are not in a good place to be leading anyone right now, but the command to rise up into that calling is there for every Christian.”
The grace of God given to us through faith in Christ makes all of us priests and ministers (2 Cor. 5:18-20, 2 Pet. 2:4-5), regardless of our pasts or backgrounds, and calls all of us to play a part in leading others to build up the kingdom of God. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about this.
1. LEAD OTHERS TO JESUS
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19).
Every Christian is charged specifically with the call to bring unbelievers to Christ and make disciples. It is not the world’s responsibility to find Jesus; it’s our responsibility to go to them with the gospel: that Christ died for sin, rose in victory, and is reigning as Lord offering forgiveness to all. This is an act of leadership in that you are taking the initiative to call others to follow you as you follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). First into the faith, and then into increasing Christ-likeness.
2. LEAD OTHERS TO GLORIFY GOD
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16).
In general, every Christian is also called to lead others in giving glory to God. This is an act of leadership because you are intentionally going before others to shine as an example with your life, that they might follow you into worshiping God and giving him glory.
3. KEEP ON LEADING OTHERS
Beyond that, all Christians are also called to engage in leading others in various ways depending on how God has wired us (age, gender, experience, gifts, etc), where he has placed us, and what season of life we are in. Whether leading a friend to Jesus, leading a Community Group, or leading a ministry at church, there are many ways that God has called us to lead (and sometimes they change from season to season).
Every Christian isn’t called to lead in every way (i.e. Jas. 3:1), but all Christians are called to lead in some way. Here are some of those ways from Scripture:
- Christians leading other Christians by example (1 Thes. 1:6-8)
- Husbands leading their wives in marriage (Eph. 5:25-33)
- Husbands and wives leading their children (Eph. 6:5, Prov. 31:27-28)
- Older women leading younger women (Titus 2:3-5)
- Older men leading younger men (Titus 2:6-8)
- Elders and pastors leading churches (1 Peter 5:1-5, 1 Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9)
4. SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP DEFINED
Knowing our call to lead in these ways, it is imperative for us to have a good understanding of what godly, spiritual leadership is. Here’s my favorite definition:
“Spiritual leadership is knowing where God wants people to be and taking the initiative to use God’s methods to get them there in reliance on God’s power.” 1
This is the God-centered way that we are called to lead others. This requires deep connection with God, and no doubt, the first step to being this kind of leader is being a humble follower of Jesus. He is able to forgive our sins, give us new hearts and new purpose, and empower us with his Spirit to be effective for God’s purposes. May we follow Jesus with all our heart, and rise up to lead others well, in every way God has called us to, for his glory.
Join us at The Well every Tuesday night at 8pm.
1 Marks of a Spiritual Leader, John Piper (link)