What are the qualities of great leadership?
Well, to truly understand these things, isn't it best to first have a basic understanding of what leading is? Certainly! The Bible defines it as: to guide by direction or example; to go through; to go first; to result in; chief among others. But the key point to take away from this definition is, are you ready for this? Write it down now, a leader guides by example!
In 1 Peter chapter 5, Peter offers great advice and characteristics of good leaders in the church to elders and young men. Elders, you know who I'm talking about, "older men" who are in positions of Christian leadership. As stated, this advice is also offered to young men, however, the reality of what I'm covering today is that these teachings should be practiced by everyone; not just men. But before jumping headlong into the scripture, let me ask everyone a basic question, do you know who Peter is? Hmm, I think I heard someone say they don't know, you know what that means; history lesson! Don't worry, I'll give a short overview of Peter and then we'll jump into the Bible.
Peter was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ and one of three individuals to ever see Jesus' true form. Can you imagine being able to see Jesus in his true form? Beams of light shooting from his face and what's more, speaking with two major prophets?! Peter was often the speaker of the apostles, witnessed the death and resurrection of Christ, taught at Pentecost, and became a pillar of the Jerusalem church. But it was not always this way, he developed the qualities of a leader and humility the hard way. When he first began walking with Jesus, and in turn, God, these things did not come naturally to his strong-willed personality. For example, during the moment when Peter saw Jesus' true form, he spoke out and God told him to be quiet! I can't even really fathom the Lord of all creation talking to me, much less telling me to be quiet! But the Holy Spirit brought about a change in Peter, teaching him humility and showing him the qualities of a leader; to be used by God.
Update: Even after Peter became a powerful speaker and apostle, he had to be corrected once by the apostle Paul. This just goes to show that even great leaders can stumble and have a need to have their pitfalls pointed out to them by fellow believers.
Alright, I know most of you hate history so let's go ahead jump into the scripture, which was by the way written long ago!
In the first verse of chapter 5, Peter points out that he is a fellow elder and shares in the suffering of Christ. I find it truly humbling that after all he had been a part of, actually standing beside Jesus and following him as a disciple, he still considers himself an equal; not a superior. Just try putting yourself in Peter's shoes, imagine that you had been one of the first followers and true believers of Jesus Christ. That Jesus was actually the Son of God, the Messiah, you got to witness miracles first hand and blessed with the power to do the same. Basically, you learned from the absolute best that has ever been or ever will be, a perfect and sinless leader. Be honest, would you fall prey to pride and consider yourself superior to those around you? I'd love to say that I wouldn't and maybe after all the changes I've already gone through I could, but I'll never know for sure.
Best Christian Leadership QualitiesThe following four qualities or characteristics of leadership are the same four things that Peter appealed to the elders of the church, but they can and should also be applied by younger Christians as well:
1. Realize that you're caring for God's flock and not your own
2. Lead with an eagerness to serve and not out of obligation
3. Concern yourself with what you can give and not what you receive
4. Lead by example and not by forceHave you ever noticed a barrier between the older generation and the younger generation? This is usually brought about by pride, as well as stubbornness. The elderly do not waste their time trying to understand those who are much younger, they simply look down on them. Just as, let's say teenagers, don't listen to the wisdom of their elders or look up to them, they're simply considered senile. Peter says that both young and old alike should humble themselves and serve one another. The younger crowd should show respect and follow the Christian leadership of the elders, who should lead by example and listen to what young ones have to say.
Another quality not listed above that requires mentioning is humbling yourself before God. Worrying about your position or status here on Earth, or seeking recognition is simply put, a waste of time. The only recognition that matters comes from God, if you live your life humbly obeying him, he will bless you in his own timing; whether that comes here on Earth or up in Heaven.
Here comes the juicy part!
This next verse really sticks out to me and just shows how much we really mean to God. Verse 7: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. Isn't that uplifting?!
If you're ever hoping or wanting to be a true leader for God, you must place all of your trust, faith, and confidence in him. If you haven't given all of your "baggage" over to him, you have not yet fully trusted him with your whole life. It takes a lot of humility to realize that the creator of the entire universe, someone so significant cares for someone like you, but he does and you must willingly admit you need him. You might be thinking that your burdens are yours to carry because of a few dumb decisions you've made, this isn't true, not by a long shot. God wouldn't have you submit to your failures, rather, he would have you submit to him!
Always, and I can't stress this enough, always be on alert and watching for attacks of the Devil, especially when you are vulnerable. There have been numerous times in our lives that we have felt alone, betrayed, worthless, or depressed, it's at these times when we're in the most danger. Peter refers to Satan as a Lion, which attack sick, young, and straggling animals; strategically choosing victims who are alone and unguarded. Stand strong in your faith against him, have faith in the fact that fellow Christians face the same trials day in and day out, you're not alone. Never fall into the thinking that you're alone, for one you have God on your side, and you'll always have brothers and sisters in Christ to turn to.
The last thing I want to touch on before I bring this post to a close is suffering. The greatest leader that the world has ever seen, Jesus Christ, began his life knowing full well that he would pay the ultimate for us. Just as Jesus suffered for us, we will also suffer for him, mainly through persecution and the struggles of our daily lives. Because many of us are blessed to live in a country that allows freedom of religion, we don't have to worry about being put to death for our faith. Others have not been so lucky, such as Peter, who was murdered for his faith and the way he lived his life. Verse 11 points out that our suffering will not be forever, it's true that our suffering may last our entire lives, or it may not, but when compared to all of eternity it's nothing. Just as Jesus before us ascended to Heaven to be with the Father, so too will his followers have eternal life, where there is no suffering.
I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who have taken the time to read my first post, I know it was a long one, but hey, what's 5 minutes compared to eternity right? If you would like to leave me any feedback or words of encouragement, feel free to do so below; you may also share this post with your friends/family, there are share buttons at the top right of the page. To show you enjoyed this article, please give it a +1 which is found right under this paragraph! If you would like to continue building your knowledge of God, please feel free to read Put Your Faith in God Not False Teachers!