Leadership. That is the goal. That is why we are here. We want to grow as leaders.
We all respect those great leaders who have gone before us, and those we find all around us in our society. We all desire to become great leaders within our own areas of influence, be it in the church, in our families, in our schools, in civil government, or in the world of business.
As we desire to be good leaders, many of us make it our goal to develop our leadership gifts. I believe that is why you have signed on to the Heart of God Leadership Network in the first place. But as a starting point, we must first begin with the question, “What is leadership?”
If we do not begin this journey with a foundation in our understanding, then none of our future articles will be helpful.
So, What Is Leadership?
John Maxwell, perhaps the greatest teacher of leadership that our generation has seen, defines leadership very simply:
“Leadership is Influence. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.”_
(from Developing the Leader Within You, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993.)
This means that leadership is not a set of skills that you carry or gifts you receive from the Lord to enable you to do your work well. The truth is, there are many gifted people in the world who can accomplish great things when they put their minds too it, yet they are incapable of influencing others to do the same things as well. They can perform, but they do not have influence over others while also enabling them to perform in the same way.
So as a leader, seeking to develop better leadership skills for the Kingdom of God, the first thing we must understand is that good leadership means you refuse to go alone. No matter what the Lord calls you to do, a leader brings others along with them, teaching them to become better citizens in this world for the next.
Leadership in terms of the Kingdom of God means discipleship. However, this is not just discipling others in understanding the Word of God, though that is important. Leadership is discipling people in every area of life in order to equip them to live every day in the light of the Gospel while enabling them to advance the Kingdom of God in their own sphere of influence.
Leadership is influence. Kingdom leadership is influencing others in such a way that the Kingdom of God is spread into every area of society.
The call of Christian leadership is to continually be looking for opportunities to equip the next generation of leaders to fulfill the call of the Gospel in every area of life in order to make disciples of all nations.
So who are you influencing? Who is following your leadership? More importantly, are you living your life in such a way that you could say to those people, as the Apostle Paul did, “be imitators of me as I am of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 11:1). You are encouraged to take some time to answer these important questions.
As we begin this journey together, will you commit yourself to being a Kingdom-minded leader who will take what you learn, apply it to your life, and then give it away to help others?
© 2014 A. Scott Ingram
All Rights Reserved