Christian leadership is not for the fainthearted. I have discovered that you need a tough skin for this job and you also need a certain measure of resilience. But then Jesus never did call us to a life of ease. He said, 'take up your cross and follow me' which would be neither easy nor comfortable.
I have served Jesus for over forty years. During those years I have seen some of the best and worst of Christian leaders. I have seen sacrificial leadership modelled and I have seen leaders that felt that they were entitled to all the privileges of life.
Here is what I think about Christian leadership.
We are called to be servants: Paul told us in Philippians 2 that we should be servants like Jesus was. Our calling is not to a life of luxury but to a life of sacrifice and service. Jesus modelled the way for us when he put a towel around his waist and washed the feet of his disciples. I thinksome Christian leaders believe they are in their positions to be served and pandered to by their followers, but if we look at the example of Jesus we should be the servants.
We are called to give our lives: Jesus called us to lay our lives down for those we serve. I don't think this implies being a slave or being a doormat for people to tread on, but I do think it means dying to our own desires and wants so that we can serve the cause of Christ. I have seen some Christian leaders exploit their followers and I don't think that is what Jesus had in mind. There are Christian leaders who live luxurious lifestyles while some of their followers live in poverty. I am not seeking to be judgmental here, I am simply wanting to point out that I do not think that Jesus had this in mind for people He called to serve Him. I am not suggesting that leaders should live in want or need, but I do think leaders should be prepared to sacrifice for the cause of the gospel and to live lives that are not excessive or offensive to others.
We are called to build God's Kingdom: I have watched some leaders who are totally obsessed with their work. They work 24/7...but it is all about building their kingdom, their network, their empire—it has little to do with the Kingdom of God and bringing honour to the name of Jesus. God's work is not about us, our reputation, our cause or our needs and wants, it is all bout bringing His message of hope to needy people.
I am deeply grateful for all the godly Christian leaders out there and there are scores of them. But there are those few who have an entitlement mentality and believe they deserve privilege and honor.
We should honor and respect all leaders. But the point is when leaders do not get honor they do not run from the task. When the going gets tough, true godly leaders keep going. When they don't have all the nice things they desire they still continue to serve with deep gratitude that Jesus has called them to do His work. Christian leadership is not about privilege—it is about serving the greatest cause on earth and it is indeed a privilege that is all ours to serve and honor our great God.
Just a few thoughts for the week.
I am and always will be,
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,