The principles of good Christian leadership
Good Christian leadership should manifest deep personal conviction.
Leaders are watched very closely. They are role models. Subordinates are quick to perceive when leaders are saying one thing, but living another. Unless leaders live according to a deep personal conviction, they will be inconsistent and can be manipulated.
Christian leadership should maintain rigorous personal schedules.
Leaders lead by personal example. To be effective in a highly competitive market, the leader will have to be a model of discipline and diligence. To maintain his edge on the workers, his own performance must exceed those of his workmen. He must set the standard against which his subordinates will measure themselves.
Christian leadership should place all their lives in subordination to their goals.
Leaders have to embrace a sense of mission. To be a leader is to have followers. If you are not going towards a goal, you are leading your subordinates towards nothing. It is the very fact that you have a goal that makes you a leader. True leaders see nothing but their goal. They will risk everything to reach it. To deviate is to fail as a leader.
Christian leadership should be willing to make hard-nosed decisions.
It is impossible to please everyone. Conflicts of interests will always occur. Leaders have to measure all their decisions against the ultimate achievement of their objectives and, considering all factors, will have to decide accordingly.
Christian leadership should learn to live with tension.
Because of the constant conflict between workers’ interests and the pressure to perform, leaders live with tension. It can not be avoided. It is essential that leaders keep on making sound decisions at all times. The ability to cope with tension is what separates the mediocre from the superior leaders.
Qualities of good Christian leadership
Good Christian leadership must demonstrate:
1. A sense of mission
This is a belief in your own ability to lead, a love for the work itself and a devotion to the people and the organization you serve. Self-denial It means a willingness to forgo self-indulgences and the ability to bear the headaches the job entails.
2. Impeccable Character
You must be honest with yourself and others, face hard facts and unpleasant situations with courage, be sincere and dependable and never fear criticism or your own mistakes. Job competence This is still one of the best foundations for good leadership. Even though leaders should not waste time on doing technical work themselves.
3. Good judgment
Common sense (the ability to separate the important from the unimportant), tact, and wisdom to see and plan ahead makes for the best leaders.
4. High levels of energy
Leaders at all levels are required to work long hours and accordingly have little time for relaxation. Good health, good nerves and boundless energy makes this possible.
Styles of good Christian leadership
Autocratic or Directive Leadership.
Many people consider this style as old-fashioned, but it often worked well. The leader makes the decisions and demands obedience from the people supervised. It is well suited for situations where time is of an essence. However, it places a stringent demand on the leade’s ability to be right. He cannot afford mistakes.
Democratic or Consultative Leadership.
Also called consensus management. This is still a popular approach. The leader consults with and draws ideas from the people supervised before making decisions. It can, unfortunately, lead to less than optimum compromises.
Free-rein or Participative Leadership.
Also known as Liasses-Faire Leadership from the man who introduced it. This style is the most difficult of the different styles. The leader acts as information centre and exercises minimum control, depending on the employee’s sense of responsibility and good judgment to get things done. Some also call it integrative leadership or in a negative sense it can be called ‘come what may’ leadership. Only mature individuals respond to it well and there is a real risk of losing control.
This style functions by making the achievement of goals in itself the motivation of the workers. You must tailor work to provide the greatest motivation for the workers.
This is the only true and acceptable Christian leadership style. God is in charge and the Christian leaders obey His directives. God provides the vision, the strategy and the resources.
Contingency or Situational Leadership.
The leader is required to balance the following factors:
- The extent of rapport or good feelings between the leader and the followers.
- The nature of the job to be done in terms of specifications and procedures.
- The amount of real power invested in the leader
While all of these leadership ideas can be fairly interesting, there is nothing that compares to the covenant walk with God, where He personally shapes you as a leader.
“The LORD your God will make you the head and not the tail—placing you above and not beneath—if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I’m giving you today to keep and observe. [Deu 28:13 ISV]