For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Romans 12:3 (NIV)
According to Mosley, Pietri and Megginson (1996) in their book, Management: Leadership in Action, leadership is defined as: ‘… the process of influencing individual and group activities towards goal-setting and goal achievement’.
Leadership is something many people aspire to, whether in business, home or church life. So what is it that makes a leader?
Let’s start with what is usually taught in management schools throughout the world and then over the next few posts consider examples of leaders from the Bible.
According to management theories, leaders can demonstrate particular traits or skills. At one time this was exemplified by the belief that ‘leaders are born, not made’. So if you could spot those with a predisposition for leadership, the task of choosing them would be straightforward.
The second view on leadership concerns how leaders behave. This basically centres on the view that if you act like a leader, you must be a leader. This means that you would look for those who, for example, know how to motivate others, or who know how to delegate tasks. These people would then naturally be chosen as leaders.
The third view on leadership is what is called the situational/contingency approach. This views leaders as having a habitual or preferred leadership style and the person can only be effective when the situation fits their style.
All of these management theories don’t leave room for God and how he sees the potential in a person. Over the next three posts we will look at a number of individuals from the Bible and consider two things:
- how they saw themselves;
- how God saw the potential in them.
I’ll leave you with a final thought: ‘For Christians, leaders are not born, they are re-born’.