God Is Our Leader


Church leaders should ground their work in God's Word and rely on the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

A few years ago, a group of us were leading a pastors’ workshop on leadership principles. A pastor questioned whether our teaching was biblical. It was, but we had not identified the scriptural basis for our teaching. As Christian leaders, we must never forget to not only ground our work on God’s Word but also to clarify that our leadership ministries are solidly biblical. Because of our training we may forget or not realize that the role of leadership is still relatively new for some church people, and in some cases it is suspect. We need to identify the biblical basis of our work when serving in a church setting.

We also need to rely on the prompting of the Holy Spirit as we lead. Otherwise we may tend to rely solely on our experience, and yesterday’s experience may not be the most appropriate for today’s challenges. Think about the leadership delivery changes that have emerged in your journey. At various times leadership gurus have championed lecture, mentoring, management by objectives, knowledge-based change, teams, results-based conversations, and coaching. Which one is best? That depends on the maturity and skill of the of the leader and the person being trained, the skill set that would best address the problem, and spiritual discernment as to which leadership option is best.

Also a  few years ago, I designed a chart that distinguishes several leadership styles and compares their focus, primary tool, advantages, limitations, assumptions, and advantages. As I am training, I ask leaders to prayerfully consider which leadership option is best for a given situation. This approach reminds us of the need to be humble. Moreover, if we periodically review the options we can more easily sense the need to switch approaches when we need to do so. In fact if we do not use a variety of leadership options we cheat those we are leading and hinder our own growth as a leader. A good example of this is in coaching. As a coach, I have engaged in pure and directive coaching, mentoring, and instructing. How do I know which one to use when? I seek to rely on God as my leader.

By Dr. Alan Woodward

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